By June Fink, age 10
So far this year, more than 841 manatees have already died in Florida, according to the Associated Press. That’s 11 more than the previous record high in 2013, which was for the whole year. The manatee deaths have mainly been due to starvation, caused by Florida’s dwindling seagrass population. Some biologists believe that pollution is responsible for killing the seagrasses.
The Department of Biological Sciences at Florida Atlantic University explains that excess nutrients in the water, caused by sewage and fertilizers, results in an influx of microscopic algae. This algae, otherwise known as red tide, kills off the seagrass, leaving manatees with nothing to eat.
Conservationists are now urging for manatees to be declared endangered again, after having been removed from this status in 2017.