An agreement has been reached protecting 57.8 acres of critical habitat for the endangered West Indian (Florida) manatee. This took over two years, and involved many different individuals as well as private and government bodies. More than 150 manatees assemble within the warm springs of the area, known as Three Sisters Springs, for calving and feeding during the winter months and during critical cold weather periods.
The protected area will be owned by the city of Crystal River and the Southwest Florida Water Management District. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will manage the site as part of the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge.
David Houghton, the National Wildlife Refuge Association’s Vice President of Conservation Programs said:
“Today, the future of the West Indian manatee is more secure and the economic future of Crystal River brighter because a diverse group of individuals and organizations rallied around a common vision.”