Conservation groups file lawsuit against U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over manatee deaths

Reporter: Stephanie Byrne
(CREDIT: Save the Manatee Club)

More manatees died in the last year than ever before in Florida.

Now a lawsuit has been filed to hopefully protect their home.

The suit was filed against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service by conservation groups for failing to revise outdated critical habitat for Florida manatees.”

In January, 97 manatees died. And last year, 1,100 died in Florida.

Environmentalists blame pollution to manatee habitats.

Two of the groups say they petitioned in 2008 for the Fish and Wildlife Service to revise and expand those critical habitats.

However, more than a decade later, it still hasn’t happened.

“They agreed with us in 2010, that it should be done. That’s a little over 11 years ago and we’ve seen a lot of problems both with the issues surrounding the loss of seagrass, as well as even manatees being able to stay at some of the springs in Florida that they need for their survival,” said Patrick Rose, aquatic biologist and executive director of the Save the Manatee Club.

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