MANATEE RESCUE THE LAST STAND OF A FLORIDA TREASURE, 5min., USA, Documentary
Directed by Shannon Malone-Debenedicts
The manatee is Florida’s state animal, and its likeness is found all over the state–from murals and license plates to tourist shops and attractions. But the manatees' habitat along the east coast of Florida is dying. Over 95% of the seagrasses in the Indian River Lagoon have died out due to tragic confluence of events: huge amounts of wastewater from a growing suburban and urban population; fertilizer runoff feeding toxic algae and creating deadly blooms; aggressive commercial fishing, and increased use of the waterways for boating and other recreational activities. Fish levels are down. Plant life is at record low amounts. And the manatees are dying.