B&B-July2021 - Flipbook - Page 12
by Marianne Vitale,
Events & Programs Planner
We Floridians love manatees, and since the theme for the Summer Reading
Program this year is Tales & Tails, you can participate in several manatee-focused
programs. This month, Save the Manatee Club will present Manatee Conservation
about sea cows and how you can protect them. To pique your interest, Ally Greco,
Director Communications & Outreach for the club, answered some questions for
us about these fascinating creatures.
Wednesday–Friday, July 7–9, 2 p.m.
What do Beatrix Potter, John Muir and you have in common?
Nature Journals! This class is taught by Melrose Center Fab Lab
Chilling Campfire Tales
Thursday, July 15, 9 p.m.
Christopher Balzano is back with more spine tingling tales and
legends collected from small towns and villages in Florida.
These stories are spooky and this event is recommended for
adults. Viewers beware.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME INVOLVED
WITH MANATEE CONSERVATION?
I have always loved wildlife and marine mammals,
but I fell in love with manatees during a visit to
Crystal River to view them on a tour. Learning
about the threats they faced made me want to
help speak up for them. Later on, I became a
volunteer with Save the Manatee Club, helping
at events and as a manatee observer at Blue
Spring State Park. Eventually, I joined the Save the
Manatee Club team and help to educate the public
about these awesome animals!
ORANGE COUNTY NATURE
BY LAND AND BY WATER
Thursday, July 22, 7 p.m.
Orange County’s natural landscape is filled with terrestrial and
aquatic wonderlands. Learn about these habitats, some of the
species that inhabit each and how you can experience them in
What’s Bugging You, Florida?
Tuesday, July 6, 10:30 a.m.
EWWW! What’s that bug in your backyard? Learn all about
creepy, crawly critters with stories, games and activities.
Recommended for ages 6–8.
A Trip to Outer Space con Ellen Ochoa
Friday, July 9, 11 a.m.
All aboard the rocket ship! Soar around our solar system with
Ellen Ochoa, the first Latina to travel into space – launching
from Florida, of course. Learn about her adventure through an
interactive storytime in English and Spanish. Recommended
for ages 3–5.
Dig in the Florida Sand
Thursday, July 15, 4 p.m.
Florida has plenty of sand and the library has plenty of beach
stories and crabby crafts. Don’t miss the fun! Recommended for
Local Habitat Lake Apopka
Tuesday, July 27, 3 p.m.
Lake Apopka is the fourth largest lake in Florida. It is home to a
diverse group of animals. Investigate this habitat and all it has
gone through. Recommended for ages 9–12.
WILL MANATEES APPROACH HUMANS IN THE
WATER? IF SO, WHAT DO YOU DO IF YOU ARE
APPROACHED OR IF YOU FIND YOURSELF TOO
CLOSE TO A MANATEE BY ACCIDENT?
Manatees are very curious and like to check things
out with their vibrissae, which are tiny tactile hairs
on their snouts and bodies that help them sense
things in their environment. So, if they’re coming
up close to you on the water, they may just be
checking out what’s in their environment – they
don’t necessarily want to be pet or disturbed!
People should never pet, touch, ride or disturb
manatees – they are wild animals and keeping
them wild helps protect them. You should never
feed or give water to a manatee either. If you
find yourself too close to a manatee by accident,
remain still and observe them passively, without
touch. Let the manatee move on and try to give it
WHAT IS THE MANATEE MERMAID CONNECTION?
Throughout history, sailors sometimes
thought they were seeing mermaids when
they were probably seeing manatees. With a
little imagination, manatees have an uncanny
resemblance to the human form that could only
increase after long months at sea. Maybe the way
they surface to breathe and flutter their tail made
them seem like mythical mermaids to sailors who
were exploring new lands and relating the new
cultures, landscapes, animals, and plants they
discovered to more familiar objects from home.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO
SOMEONE INTERESTED IN GETTING INVOLVED
IN MANATEE CONSERVATION?
I would recommend volunteering! Save
the Manatee Club has in-person volunteer
opportunities around Florida and virtual volunteer
opportunities as well. Many of our conservation
partners also have volunteer opportunities.
Volunteering, even as little as once a month or
a few times per year, allows you to learn new
things and meet new people that can help you
become more involved with a cause. If you live
far away from manatee habitat, I recommend
volunteering or interning somewhere nearby
that offers opportunities with a similar mission,
such as a local wildlife or nature center, or your
local parks department. To learn more, go to
PEOPLE SHOULD NEVER PET,
TOUCH, RIDE OR DISTURB
MANATEES – THEY ARE WILD
ANIMALS AND KEEPING THEM
WILD HELPS PROTECT THEM.
Florida’s Haunted History
Tuesday, July 20, 4 p.m.
Gather around the virtual campfire to share spooky tales of
Florida’s haunted history. Recommended for ages 9–12.
Summer Livestream Series featuring Gatorland
Tuesday, July 27, 2 p.m.
Your family can enjoy wild and fun entertainment from the
comfort of home this summer with these livestreams featuring
a special guest performer on our YouTube and Facebook pages.
Learn all about Gatorland’s resident reptiles! The Gatorland
Wranglers will share stories of close encounters with some of
the world’s most feared predators. Recommended for families.
IS THERE ONE COMMON MISCONCEPTION
ABOUT MANATEES YOU’D LIKE TO DISPEL?
Manatees are truly gentle giants. They are
herbivores, so they don’t need to hunt, and they
don’t have any predators either. Alligators and
sharks coexist peacefully with manatees. So,
manatees never evolved to swim very fast – they
usually travel at speeds between 3 to 5 miles
per hour. This slow speed, coupled with the fact
that they need to surface to breathe air, makes
manatees naturally susceptible to dangerous
collisions with watercraft, especially those that
are speeding. Manatees are not like the speedy
dolphins you may encounter on the water. Most
of the time, a fast boat is simply no match for a
slow-moving manatee who is trying to get out of
the way quickly. We can all do our part to reduce
this risk by following posted speed zones in areas
where manatees frequent.
Wednesday, July 14, 7 p.m.
Save the Manatee Club guest speaker
will discuss manatee fun facts,
anatomy, the threats manatees face
and what people are doing to help
them. Learn about conservation laws
that protect manatees.
Photo Credit: Save the Manatee Club