Day to appreciate, protect our waters and theirs

By Jonathon Shoecraft ,

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Manatee mother and her baby calf.

Manatee mother and her baby calf.

Yesterday was Manatee appreciation Day.

Every last Thursday in the month of March is dedicated to these amazing creatures. 

They have a lifespan of about 60 years and are very calm herbivores that enjoy a warm climate like that of Samoa. 

They are just like us in that they spend most of their time eating, sleeping and traveling. 

Manatees like slow rivers, canals, saltwater bays, estuaries and coastal areas.  

As a species that travels a lot, they inhabit the United States waters of Florida during the winter and move as far north as Virginia and as far west as Texas in the summer months. 

The reason for this day to be dedicated to these beautiful creatures is to bring awareness of their growing loss of habitat and becoming an endangered species.

Currently, there are approximately 3,200 manatees living in the United States. 

This number has been steadily decreasing over the past years in that not only has the rising amount of carbon emissions been raising water temperatures, which kills fish and water mammals alike, but due to their interactions with humans. 

It seems that there just isn’t enough room in the bodies of water out there for them to survive and humans do what they want to in the same areas. The number one cause of death for these mammals is being struck by boats that share the same waters with them.

This day was not only to bring awareness to these creatures, but also to bring awareness to the destruction of our environment. 

Not only are sea animals in the United States dying, but they are also dying and/or leaving Samoa entirely.

The sharks of Samoa are leaving from increased water temperatures and destroyed reefs, fish are depleting from overfishing, and carbon emissions continue to plague us with bleached reefs and dying ecosystems.

The people need to be aware of how their actions affect the environment when fishing and walking through Coral farms and reserves. 

But, there is a good side to all of this. Samoa is working towards becoming a state which functions on 100% renewable energy and making efforts to lower the effects of overfishing.

Color has begun to return to reefs like Aganoa beach and Palolo Deep Marine Reserve. 

With more awareness and action by the people through watching how their actions affect these things, Samoa can contribute to saving not only manatees, but their marine life as well.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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