2002-2003 Save the Manatee Trust Fund Annual Report
the Manatee Trust Fund Annual Report (1.32 MB)
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This is the annual status report on expenditures from the Save
the Manatee Trust Fund (STMTF). This report is provided to the
President of the Florida Senate and the Speaker of the Florida
House of Representatives each year.
Funding for the state's manatee-related research and
conservation activities is provided primarily from the STMTF, which
receives money from sales of manatee license plates and decals,
boat registration fees, and voluntary donations. Revenues for
fiscal year (FY) 2002-2003 totaled $3,795,365.
Appropriations for the same FY were approximately $3,992,736. Of
that, $3,534,652 was provided to the Florida Fish and Wildlife
Conservation Commission (FWC) for research, conservation, and
enforcement. Mote Marine Laboratory received $325,000 for
additional research, and the Advisory Council for Environmental
Education received $133,084. Details are presented in the pie
charts at right.
Expenditures by the FWC from the STMTF included $1,682,979 for
research activities coordinated by the FWC Florida Marine Research
Institute (FMRI) in St. Petersburg; $1,155,999 for conservation
activities within the FWC Office of Environmental Services' Bureau
of Protected Species Management (BPSM); and $372,875 to the FWC
Division of Law Enforcement. Budgetary breakdowns for individual
program elements under both the research and conservation efforts
are included, followed by summaries of the work performed at the
FMRI and the BPSM.
The Florida manatee is native to Florida's coastal and riverine
waters and is listed by both the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and
the FWC as an endangered species. Manatees have been protected in
Florida since 1892. Federally, both the Marine Mammal Protection
Act and the Endangered Species Act protect manatees. Current state
efforts to recover the population are guided by the Florida Manatee
Sanctuary Act [Section 370.12(2), Florida Statutes] and the federal
Florida Manatee Recovery Plan of 2001. In FY 2002-2003, the FWC's
manatee program focused on actions related to a settlement
agreement from a lawsuit brought by Save the Manatee Club et al. in
2001. These activities involved (1) increasing the number of FWC
law enforcement officers and the amount of time spent enforcing
manatee zones in Florida's waterways, (2) completing a
comprehensive report by FMRI analyzing manatee use of the
Caloosahatchee River and surrounding areas, and (3) promulgating
rules regulating boat speed and access in six counties to reduce
risk to manatees.
The FWC staff members' also focused on completing a biological
status review of the Florida manatee to assess its proper
classification on the state of Florida's imperiled species list.
The final report, available at www.floridamarine.org, is the result
of a complex scientific process that included compilation of the
best available manatee data and development of a population
viability analysis model to project the probability of a population
decline and extinction in the next 45 and 100 years. The estimate
of growth rate for the southwest subpopulation is slightly
negative; although, there is statistical uncertainty surrounding
the estimate. This means that researchers cannot determine with
certainty whether the population is slowly increasing, roughly
stable, or in definite decline. As reported in the final biological
status review, of major concern is that model simulations indicate
that the southwest subpopulation shows negative growth under
conditions of constant carrying capacity and constant survival.
Under this scenario, approximately half of the current estimated
population in southwest Florida is projected to disappear within
the next 45 years. Even assuming the most optimistic scenario of
constant habitat conditions and no deaths caused by red tide or
cold, the projected population trajectory is downward for the
Although great strides have been made toward recovering the
Florida manatee, there are still human-related and natural factors
that could negatively affect the long-term survival of the species.
With continuing conservation, law enforcement, outreach, and
research, the FWC hopes to ensure that there will be a robust
manatee population in Florida's future.
Prior to July 1, 2004, the Fish and Wildlife Research
Institute was known as the Florida Marine Research Institute. The
institute name has not been changed in historical articles and
articles that directly reference work done by the Florida Marine
As of July 1, 2004, the Bureau of Protected Species Management
is now known as the Imperiled Species Management Section. The
section name has not been changed in historical articles and
articles that directly reference work done by the Bureau of
Protected Species Management.