DeLand, FL - Enthusiastic volunteers are needed for a program aimed at identifying the presence of manatees in Volusia County's waterways.
According to Debbie Wright, Volusia’s manatee protection program manager, volunteers are needed to observe manatee behavior, document manatee sightings, photograph manatees, and sketch scar patterns in order to provide vital information on the gentle giants.
Avid boaters, residents who live on the water, and residents who spend a lot of time near the water are encouraged to become manatee watchers.
"The Manatee Watch training is a great opportunity to learn all about Florida’s official marine mammal," said Wright. "With the help of volunteers, we can get a better understanding of how manatees are using Volusia County waterways."
The program is open to individuals—who should be at least 16-years-old—families, businesses and civic organizations. And, because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, training sessions will be hosted virtually.
Advanced registration is required for the program, so interested individuals must email Chad Murch ManateeWatch@volusia.org in order to register and receive the virtual training access code. The first training session will be held between 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. on February 25th and 10 a.m. to noon on February 27th.
Residents may also call 386-736-5927 ext. 12839, or visit the county's page on manatees for more information.