After an increase in manatee deaths last year, wildlife activists are encouraging a change in Florida’s boating safety system. Specifically, they’re pushing that all boaters must take a safety course that brings wildlife welfare to light.
This will ensure that all boat operators are more aware of their surroundings, from both a public safety and wildlife safety standpoint.
Current state laws only require boaters younger than 33 years old to take a safety course before they can operate a boat.
More than 600 manatees died in 2020, and at least 90 were killed from boating accidents. With a required boating safety class, the hope is that this number would go down.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Center for Biological Diversity are hoping lawmakers will consider the issue in the upcoming legislative session.