manatee swimming underwater

Manatee Watch Training

Volunteers Needed for Manatee Protection

Volusia County is looking for enthusiastic volunteers to participate in Manatee Watch, a program that identifies the presence of manatees in local waterways.

Residents who live on the water, spend a lot of time near the water, or are avid boaters are encouraged to become manatee watchers.

Responsibilities of Volunteers

Manatee Watch coordinators will host two training sessions:

  • 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2, at the Marine Discovery Center, 520 Barracuda Blvd., New Smyrna Beach
  • 10 a.m. to noon Wednesday, Feb. 6, in the first-floor training room of the Thomas C. Kelly Administration Center, 123 W. Indiana Ave., DeLand

“The Manatee Watch training is a great opportunity to learn all about Florida’s official marine mammal,” said Debbie Wingfield, Volusia County’s manatee protection program manager. “With the help of volunteers, we can get a better understanding of how manatees are using Volusia County waterways.”

Training Received for Manatee Watchers

Manatee Watchers are trained to observe manatee behavior, document manatee sightings, photograph manatees, and sketch scar patterns. Information gathered from Manatee Watch volunteers provides vital manatee information, including behavior, movement within waterways, habitat use and individual identification. Participants will receive a packet of training materials.

The Manatee Watch program is open to individuals, families, businesses and civic organizations. Participants should be at least 16 years old.

Advance registration is required for the free training. Contact Ashley Ambert at AAmbert@volusia.org or 386-736-5927, ext. 12839. For more information about manatees and Manatee Watch, visit www.volusiamanatees.org.

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