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Save the Manatee Club launches 'Fertilizer-Free for Manatees' campaign

The campaign aims to reduce or eliminate contributions to nutrient pollution in Florida waterways.

MAITLAND, Fla. — (Editor's note: The video in the player above is from a June 15 report on Florida manatees.)

A Florida club is asking the public to take the pledge to reduce and eliminate nutrient pollution to build a safer environment for manatees.

Save the Manatees Club launched the campaign "Fertilizer-Free for Manatees" to raise awareness of nutrient pollution across the state, the club says.

Nutrient pollution fuel harmful algal blooms and kill fish in coastal and inland waterways. So much so that there are fertilizer bans in multiple counties throughout the state. 

"The actions of each Florida resident can make a big difference for the health of our waterways," Save the Manatees Club said in a news release. 

RELATED: Manatee released back into Florida waters after 15-month recovery at ZooTampa

By taking the pledge against fertilizer, Floridians will commit to the following: 

  • Avoid fertilizer use on lawns and landscapes
  • Conserve water by irrigating only when necessary
  • Keep grass clippings out of streets, waterbodies, and swales
  • Learn about Florida-friendly landscaping to protect waterways

Homeowners can find various tips and facts to protect manatees from their homes. 

"Human nutrient pollution from various sources has been a major driver of the harmful algal blooms that have led to a catastrophic number of manatee deaths," Aquatic Biologist and Executive Director of Save the Manatee Club Patrick Rose said in a statement. "The Fertilizer-Free for Manatees campaign aims to educate the public about how their individual actions, which may seem small, can have a cumulative healing effect on the overall health of our Florida waterways. Together, we can all take steps at home to protect manatees and their essential habitat."

RELATED: Manatees still face obstacles, but experts say more help is coming

RELATED: Ahead of rainy season, learn how to create an ocean-friendly yard

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