PBSO, Boca PD To Start Manatee Patrols This Weekend

(Used under CreativeCommons license).

(Used under CreativeCommons license).

BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — Just like senior citizens, Manatees come to South Florida as the weather turns cold to our north. And just like seniors, they require a little extra attention.

From Palm Beach County:

The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office (PBSO), along with other state and local law enforcement agencies, will patrol the waterways on Nov. 15 as part of Operation Mermaid. This multiagency operation is a large-scale effort to remind boaters in Palm Beach County of the start of the manatee season.

Manatee season begins on Nov. 15 and ends on March 31. During this period, a large percentage of the manatee population travels to South Florida in search of warmer waters. On Nov. 15, seasonal speed zones come into effect on many waterways to protect manatees during their migration.

Participants in Operation Mermaid include the PBSO Law Enforcement Marine Unit, PBSO Volunteer Marine Unit, law enforcement units from Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Jupiter, Lantana, Riviera Beach, Tequesta and West Palm Beach, and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

The Palm Beach County Department of Environmental Resources Management takes action year-round to help protect manatees. Its efforts include a local law enforcement program aimed at increasing compliance with manatee speed zones countywide.

Operation Mermaid takes its name from the popular theory that ancient mariners who wrote about mermaids may have actually spotted manatees.