The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources is warning boaters of the return of manatees–to avoid future collisions. Manatees, also called sea cows, are endangered animals, with only about 3,000 living in U.S. waters. Every year about this time DNR tells boaters to use caution due to the influx of manatees off South Carolina’s coast.
Manatees may be seen all throughout the year in Florida, but DNR says they are now migrating north to South Carolina–while the water gets warmer. They normally return to the south around September or October. Collisions normally occur in more shallow water–around rocks, docks, and the edge of marshes. DNR says to use normal boating regulations to reduce these collisions.
To help spot a manatee, a boater can be on the look-out for the animal’s back, tail, snout, and swirls on the surface of the water.