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.
Manatee Watch coordinators will host two virtual training sessions:
· 2 to 4 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 25
· 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Feb. 27
“The Manatee Watch training is a great opportunity to learn all about Florida’s official marine mammal,” said Debbie Wright, 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.”
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 via email.
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 virtual training. Contact Chad Murch at ManateeWatch@volusia.org to register and receive the virtual training access code. Call 386-736-5927, ext. 12839, if you have any questions. For more information about manatees and Manatee Watch, visit www.volusiamanatees.org.