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Why Are There So Many Manatees in the Crystal River Area?

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Why Are There So Many Manatees in the Crystal River Area?.

Why Are There So Many Manatees in the Crystal River Area?Crystal River, an inlet of the Gulf of Mexico, is a popular destination in the Nature Coast of Florida. While it provides ample opportunities for boating, fishing, swimming, diving and snorkelling, the greatest attraction along this river is the Florida manatee or “sea cow.” Over four hundred of these friendly aquatic mammals roam freely in the shallow waters along the river. Tourists, young and old alike, love to swim with the manatees or watch them from the side of a river boat.

Marine biologists believe that Crystal River is the best habitat for manatees in the country for a reason. These animals do not have an internal mechanism for thermoregulation, which is the regulation of body temperature with respect to the surrounding temperature. They do not have as much blubber for insulation as do whales and dolphins, which is why they depend on external sources for additional warmth. The temperate waters of the Crystal River area help them maintain a comfortable body temperature. Kings Bay, the river’s point of origin, is fed by numerous springs that maintain a constant temperature of 72 degrees during the winter months. In addition, this region has several power plants that act as a source of warmth for marine mammals. Together, these natural and man-made sources of warmth attract the manatees and provide a refuge from the chilling waters of the Gulf of Mexico during winter months. Overall, the springs of Kings Bay act as a habitat for about 15-20% of the overall manatee population in the United States.

The manatee population has been dwindling all over the world due to the destruction of their coastal habitats. In response to this trend, the state of Florida has come forward to save these gentle creatures with the Florida Manatee Recovery Plan. Harming a manatee in this region is strictly prohibited under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act and the Endangered Species Act. Every year, the last Wednesday of March is celebrated as the Manatee Appreciation Day.

Captain Mike's Swimming with the Manatees boasts the best water adventure in Crystal River, Florida with lots of things to do for you and your family. For more information, contact us, or call us at (352) 571-1888.