Each winter they migrate to South Florida to escape the cold in the North. However, you won't find these tourists sunning themselves on Hollywood Beach.
The endangered West Indian manatees, once mistaken as mermaids by sailors, migrate to Port Everglades in November to take advantage of the warm water in the port-based Florida Power & Light (FPL) discharge canal.
PortEverglades established a safe marine habitat for migrating manatees andhas supported manatee protection legislation, including the U.S. MarineMammal Protection Act in 1972 and the U.S. Endangered Species Act of 1973 as amended.
Port Everglades has established several programsto address manatee awareness and protection. To protect manatees, the Port's idle-speed zone is effective between November 15 and March 31, and a slow-speed zone applies in this area as well as all other waters of Port Everglades for the remainder of the year. The U.S. Coast Guard also has a Security Zone in the area of the Port that limits vessel movement and speed.
Other manatee protection efforts include:
Periodically,Port Everglades must maintain the waters of the harbor to provide for the safe transiting of vessels. This work is typically scheduled when after manatees have migrated north. However, if maintenance is requiredduring manatee season, the Port utilizes its Manatee Protection Plan, which has been adopted by ports statewide and includes:
PortEverglades is working with the marine industry and federal, state and local governments, as well as the environmental community, to develop a working marina citing plan that both addresses new facilities and the protection of the manatee.