Posted: Monday, February 10, 2020. 3:57 pm CST.
By BBN Staff: Clear Water Aquarium Marine Research Institute is hosting the 5th annual Cocktails for the Manatees fundraiser this Friday, February 14th at Old Belize, to ensure that the conservation work for Belize’s endangered manatee population continues.
The event kicks off at 7 p.m. and lasts until midnight. Attendees can expect live music from Youth Connection Band, DJ Fabolous, food, cash bar, raffles, silent and live auctions.
Jamal Galves, renowned manatee researcher and the program coordinator with Clear Water Marine Aquarium Research Institute, explained that through last year’s fundraiser, the organization was able to achieve several goals including conducting weekly patrols to ensure speeding compliance in the Belize River, installing 15 manatee signs in Belize City and the Placencia region to warn boaters of manatee activity in the area, conducting monthly patrols in Placencia which lead to the confiscation of illegally set gill nets and successfully satellite tagging six manatees to gather data on their habitat usage.
“This year’s fundraiser is hoping to surpass the efforts of 2019. This will only be possible with your support,” Galves said. “All proceeds will benefit the continued efforts to preserve our beautiful shorelines and protect the manatees. Belize has a well-earned reputation as one of the region’s most environmentally-committed countries. We want to keep it that way!”
Protecting the manatees are extremely important not just for Belize, which benefits from their existence both environmentally and economically due to manatees being a major tourist attraction, but the world, given that there are only four species of manatees left on earth: the Amazonian, West African, West Indian, and Dugong manatee.
The West Indian Manatee had two subspecies, which are the Florida and the Antillian Manatee. Notably, Belize is home to the largest Antillian Manatee population in the world. But with increasing manatee deaths both to natural causes and human interaction, and the last population estimates say that there are less than 1,000 Antillian manatees remaining, conservation efforts nad people supporting them are more important than ever.
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