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Manatees are typically not seen in smaller tributaries along the East Coast, but, earlier this week, one of the aquatic mammals was spotted in the Chesapeake Bay. The sighting was made in St. George Creek near Waldorf, Maryland. According to officials from the National Aquarium, although seeing the manatee in the Maryland waters of the Chesapeake Bay may seem like a rare happening, there is a reason why it is there.
In the summer months, manatees migrate from Florida to high latitudes on the Atlantic Seaboard. Along the way these animals stop to feast on sea grasses that are commonly found in the Bay. Once the fall comes and the temperatures begin to go down, they will begin their long journey back down the coast to the warm waters of Florida.
Manatees are currently listed as “vulnerable” by the World Conservation Union’s Red List of Threatened Species. This is due to human activity in some areas where its habitat is threatened by motorized vessels along the coast and in some tributaries. The National Aquarium cautions boat-goers to watch for manatees when piloting through the Chesapeake Bay.
By Alex Lemieux
Washington Post: Manatee spotted in tributary off Chesapeake Bay near Waldorf, Md.
National Aquarium Water Blog: Manatee Spotted in the Chesapeake Bay
Photo Courtesy of Amanda Richards’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License