2004-2005 Save the Manatee Trust Fund Annual Report
2004-2005 Save the Manatee Trust Fund Annual
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This is the annual status report on expenditures from the Save
the Manatee Trust Fund (STMTF). Each year, the report is
provided to the President of the Florida Senate and the Speaker of
the Florida House of Representatives.
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) 2004-2005 totaled $3,548,984. Expenditures
for the same period were $3,607,089, with $325,000 provided for
manatee research activities at Mote Marine Laboratory and a charge
to General Revenue of $99,830. Expenditures above revenues
were taken from the balance of the STMTF. Details are
presented in pie charts in the report.
Expenditures from the STMTF were made for the Florida Fish and
Wildlife Conservation Commission's (FWC) manatee programs: $419,867
provided to the Division of Law Enforcement (LE) for
manatee-related patrols, etc.; $867,258 for management activities
within the Division of Habitat and Species Conservation's Imperiled
Species Management Section (ISM); and $1,611,112 for research
activities conducted by the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute
(FWRI) in St. Petersburg. The report includes budgetary
analyses for individual research and management program efforts,
followed by summaries of the work performed.
The Florida manatee is native to Florida's coastal and riverine
waters. Both the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and
the FWC list the manatee 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.
The FWC and the USFWS have continued to address the existing
controversy surrounding manatee issues. During FY 2004-05 a
series of Manatee Forums were convened with key stakeholders.
The goal of the Forums is to provide a process to improve
communication and understanding among stakeholder groups and
participating agencies. Through this process we hope to establish
areas of common ground, identify problems or conflicts, and develop
potential solutions. The Executive Director of the FWC and
the Director of Region Four of the USFWS have been instrumental in
the development of this idea and its implementation.
Another FWC and USFWS initiative this year was to begin
developing a process to determine effectiveness of regulatory
zones. In addition, FWC staff members continued to serve on
the federal Florida Manatee Recovery and Implementation Team and
were represented on all of the team's working groups and task
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 management, law enforcement, outreach, research,
and partnerships, the FWC is working to ensure that there will be a
viable manatee population in Florida's future.