COPY-Manatees seeking warm waters head to South Florida - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

COPY-Manatees seeking warm waters head to South Florida

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) - South Florida boaters are being warned to watch out for manatees.

Manatees' migration season begins Tuesday and runs through March 31. That means watercraft speed restrictions will be taking effect on canals, rivers and the Intracoastal Waterway.

Manatees arrive gradually in South Florida throughout November and December. The sea mammals are seeking warmer waters as the temperatures drop in their summer habitats of northern Florida and Georgia.

In Palm Beach County, fewer law enforcement boats will be on the water after county commissioners cut the manatee protection budget from $1 million to $750,000. The Sun Sentinel reports (http://sunsent.nl/sdSlRu) that the county also discontinued weekly aerial manatee surveys.

Statewide, watercraft have killed 77 manatees this year.

Information from: South Florida Sun Sentinel, http://www.sun sentinel.com

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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