To the editor:
Manatees continue to face tremendous challenges to their survival. Each year, many of these gentle, slow-moving aquatic mammals are injured or killed by human activity, especially from being struck by fast-moving boats and other watercraft in Florida waters. Please help us protect this endangered species.
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 be 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, Florida. 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, 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 subscriptions 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 Buffett 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.
Those interested in manatee gift adoptions for the Holidays can contact Save the Manatee Club at 500 N. Maitland Ave., Maitland, FL 32751, or call 1-800-432-JOIN (5646), or visit their web site 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.
Thank you for helping to protect Florida's manatees and their aquatic habitat.
Public Relations Director
Save the Manatee Club