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Manatee Appreciation Day: The Sea Cow of the Ocean

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Manatee Appreciation Day: The Sea Cow of the Ocean

The object pictured above in an ornament from Marco Island. Marco Island is know for their dolphins and their manatees. They have many of the

The object pictured above in an ornament from Marco Island. Marco Island is know for their dolphins and their manatees. They have many of the "no-wake" signs posted all throughout their canals to help maintain the manatee population.

(Emily Ropeter/LHS PeakPress)

The object pictured above in an ornament from Marco Island. Marco Island is know for their dolphins and their manatees. They have many of the "no-wake" signs posted all throughout their canals to help maintain the manatee population.

(Emily Ropeter/LHS PeakPress)

(Emily Ropeter/LHS PeakPress)

The object pictured above in an ornament from Marco Island. Marco Island is know for their dolphins and their manatees. They have many of the "no-wake" signs posted all throughout their canals to help maintain the manatee population.

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The manatee, also known as the sea cow, is one of the slowest animals on earth. This sea creature can be found all over the world and is under watch for endangerment. There are three species of manatee, scientifically known as the “Trichechus”. These include the Amazonian manatee (found within the Amazon Basin), the African manatee (living off the west coast of Africa), and the West Indian manatee (located within the waters of North America). Also known as the sea cow, these marine animals feed off “water grasses, weeds, and algae—and lots of them. A manatee can eat a tenth of its own massive weight in just 24 hours,” writes National Geographic. These creatures live on average about 40 years and can grow to be 8-13 feet in length.

The object pictured above in an ornament from Marco Island. Marco Island is know for their dolphins and their manatees. They have many of the “no-wake” signs posted all throughout their canals to help maintain the manatee population.

“The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed down listing the West Indian manatee from ‘endangered’ to ‘threatened’ under the Endangered Species Act,” tells CNN in 2016. This then means that the manatee population was able to recover and grow as a species to regain stability. The main issue that still needs to be investigated however, is whether there is still a threat to their population, or if they are stable enough to go unwatched. As far as it goes today, there are some hunters that are still after their hides and food. The biggest threats to their survival however are habitat loss and motorboats. Due to their slow manner, the manatees cannot move away from boats fast enough, and get trapped underneath them when they pass. Seeing as these manatees enjoy spending their time in canals, this also poses a problem for boats entering and exiting. Within these canals, there are “speed limit signs” and warnings when a boat enters a manatee-zone. If someone is found going over this limit, or creating a wake, then they will be punished, most likely in the form of a fine.

Regarding Manatee Appreciation Day, the day always falls on the last Wednesday in March. This means that for 2019, the holiday will take place on March 27th. The original creator of the day itself is unknown, but was created to recognize the animals themselves, and raise awareness to the animals to avoid placing them back on the endangered list.

Living here in Colorado, it is difficult to see these animals in their living form. However, this does not mean that you cannot contribute. There are many programs and nonprofit organizations that exist who accept donations to preserve the population and improve the habitats in which the manatee lives. Vanessa Duran, a sophomore here at Liberty, was asked if she believed manatees were important and why they should be helped. Vanessa says “Yes, they are an important species that should be preserved because they are creatures that deserve our help seeing as they are on the risk of being endangered again.”

This realization between humans and their environment is important because it can help promote other species and can prevent others from becoming extinct. Manatees are just one type of animal and marine life who has growing awareness. If people begin to come together, these animals can be saved, and live a better life.

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