Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Wildlife officials holding public meeting on manatee reclassification this weekend

Posted By on Tue, Feb 16, 2016 at 12:26 PM

  • Photo via U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Facebook
Plans to reclassify Florida manatees from a status of "endangered" to "threatened" are underway, and now is your chance to speak up if you have something to say.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will hold a public meeting about the reclassification of the species on Saturday, Feb. 20 at Buena Vista Palace Convention Center in Orlando.

Federal wildlife officials will discuss their plans to reclassify Florida manatees from their current status of "endangered." As of late, Florida manatee reclassification is a bit of a hot topic, pitting boating and property rights advocates against the nonprofit Save the Manatee Club and other conservation groups, according to Florida Today

Plans to reclassify manatees were announced by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in early January, and the public has until April 7 to share their input. The service expects to publish the final rule to reclassify the species within a year, Florida Today reported. 

The meeting will be held in The Great Hall at Buena Vista Palace, where an informational open house will take place from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., and a formal public hearing from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

According to population modeling by the U.S. Geological Survey, if current threats for the nation's southeastern manatee population remain constant, there is less than 2.5 percent chance the population will fall below 4,000 over the next 100 years.

Since last February, it was recorded that there are 6,063 manatees in Florida. 

Tags: , , , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Read the Digital Print Issue

April 7, 2021

View more issues


© 2021 Orlando Weekly

Website powered by Foundation