Document Type



Environmental Studies

First Advisor's Name

Joel Heinen

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Alice Clarke

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Third Advisor's Name

Hugh Gladwin

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member


Survey, Boaters, Manatee, Florida

Date of Defense



Scientists are extremely concerned that the Florida manatee, Trichechus manatus latirostris, does not have a sufficient population number nor reproductive rate to ensure long-term species viability. This research was done to investigate aspects of boater behavior in an effort to determine measures that might decrease boat-manatee collisions and help researchers plan intervention strategies in related areas. Initially, boat data was collected over a period of several months at a Miami waterway. Next, a detailed phone survey of boat owners was conducted. Although most boaters were found noncompliant with the speed zone, several questions from the survey showed that most valued manatees and almost half wanted them to remain listed as endangered. This is very encouraging as boater support for the manatee is possibly one of the most important indicators of manatee chances for survival. Suggestions included requiring mandatory boating classes and informing boaters of faster routes to their destinations.





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