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Sound Ways to Save Manatees

Posted November 22, 2010 9:00 AM by Steve Melito

Florida's Canaveral Lock once permitted the passage of rocket stages for the U.S. space program. Today, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is working to keep the waterway open to manatees, large herbivorous mammals known as "sea cows". The slow-moving Florida manatee is considered an endangered species – and no match for the powerful locks that have been blamed for the deaths of 16 sea cows since the 1970s.

Ten years ago, the Army Corps of Engineers spent $400,000 on a system to safeguard the manatee from Canaveral Lock's gates. Those protections failed in 2008, and the Corps now plans to spend $1.2 million on an underwater sound system. Developed by Florida Atlantic University, this acoustic system uses sensors developed originally for the U.S. Navy. When a manatee swims between closing gates, the seacow blocks underwater sound waves and triggers an alarm, causing the gates to reopen.

Is this a sound way to save the Florida manatee?

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Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 986
Good Answers: 14
#1

Re: Sound Ways to Save Manatees

12/20/2010 5:47 PM

Hundreds and hundreds more of them die from being attracted to unnatural warm water out-flows at power plants when they find insufficient food and have to venture back out into the cold surrounding water to eat.

It should be illegal to dump warm power plant water into local estuaries where it might attract manatees who will then find themselves cut off from warm water feeding grounds like the Ten Thousand Islands where they originally migrated to during cooler seasons.

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