FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Justin McBride, Lee County Natural Resources, 479-8130
SEASONAL SPEED ZONE CHANGES START
RED TIDE STILL IMPACTING MANATEES
FORT MYERS, Fla. (March 27, 2003) - Lee County's Division of Natural Resources would like to alert area boaters to the seasonal change - primarily a lowering of the allowable speed - in several Speed Zones in Lee County at the end of the month.
These changes last from Mar. 31 (Monday) to Nov. 15 and are required by the state each year because the population of Manatees shifts in the waterways.
Several large areas throughout the county will experience changes in the posted speed zones, primarily in Pine Island Sound and Estero Bay. However, boaters should continue to be vigilant for manatees in all areas.
These changes can be a reduction in speed or an increase in speed. Boaters are encouraged to take note of speed zone signage to assist them in adhering to the changes in the zones. All changes in the zones are reflected in the Lee County Boater's Guide.
To obtain a copy of the latest edition of the Lee County Boater's Guide, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope with 77 cents postage to Boater's Guide, 1500 Monroe Street, Fort Myers, Florida 33901. Envelope must be a minimum 6-1/2 x 9-1/2."
Additionally, Lee County's Division of Natural Resources would like to remind the public that the recent red tide event may result in sick and injured manatees. There have been recent reports of manatees in Lee County feeling the effects of the red tide. If the public spots a struggling, beached, or injured manatee they are urged not to try and assist the animal, but to call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission hotline at 1-888-404-FWCC (3922).
Questions regarding the information contained within this press release may be directed to Justin McBride, Senior Environmental Specialist, Lee County Division of Natural Resources, Marine Program, (239) 479-8130.