Online Staff Report
When the thought really counts, giving a holiday gift that matters is as easy as adopting a manatee from Save the Manatee Club. Adopting real Florida manatees for family and friends can b e done quickly online at savethemanatee.org or by calling the Club toll free at 1-800-432-5646. Funds from the Club’s adoption programs go toward their conservation and education efforts to protect the popular, endangered marine mammals and their aquatic habitat.
Sarah Barnes, an avid manatee fan from Chicago, adopted a manatee last Christmas for her mom, Debby, who resides in Alachua, Fla. “I chose Rosie from the Club’s Homosassa Springs Wildlikfe State Parek adoption program because she was referred to as the manatee matriarch of the park, which we have visited several times,” said Sarah. “We have always loved these gentle animals, and a gift that supports their conservation is worth so much more to us than a material gift.”
The manatees available for adoption can be viewed on the Club’s website at savethemanatee.org/adoptees.htm. Three new manatees recently added to the list of adoptees at Blue Spring State Park include Squeaky, the youngest manatee in the adoption program, along with Rocket and Annie.
An annual manatee adoption costs $25 and includes an adoption certificate and biography, both featuring a photo of the real manatee you have adopted, a membership handbook, and subscrdiptions to the Club’s newsletters, which feature updated reports on the manatees in the adoption program and a variety of other interesting information. Shipping is free within the United States. Gift adoptions are sent with a personalized holiday message. Or, each new member who joins the Adopt-A-Manatee program at $35 or more will receive the manatee adoption packet plus a free 2013 manatee wall calendar featuring 12 months of beautiful manatee photos and measuring 12” x 24” when open.
Save the Manatee Club, an international nonprofit manatee conservation organization, has been the “voice for manatees” since 1981, when singer/songwriter Jimmy Buffet co-founded the group. Holiday gift adoptions help fund rescues of injured manatees and orphaned calves; scientific research; public awareness projects, and conservation programs in America and around the world. Manatees are listed as endangered at the state, federal and international levels.
Patrick Rose, aquatic biologist and executive director of the Club, expresses concern that manatees continue to face tremendous challenges to their survival. “Each year, many of these gentle aquatic mammals are injured or killed by human activity, especially from being struck by boats and other watercraft,” he explained. “Their habitat is threatened by Florida’s growing human population, which places increasing pressures on the waterways where they live. Those who adopt a manatee for themselves and others will learn so much about this fascinating species as well as the many ways to help improve the lives of endangered manatees everywhere.”
Sarah says, “I feel it is our responsibility, as humans and as Americans, to protect the manatee, their habitat, and their future.”
Interested in manatee gift adoptions for the holidays? Contact Save the Manatee Club at 500 N. Maitland Ave., Maitland, FL 32751, or call 1-800-432-JOIN (5646), or visit their website at www.savethemanatee.org, where you can also sign up for the Club’s free E-Newsletter. Shop for special manatee gifts in the Club’s gift catalog at www.shopsavethemanatee.org.
Posted Dec. 19, 2012