Save the Manatee Club

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Save the Manatee Club
Save the Manatee Club Logo
Formation 1981
Type 501(c)(3) non-profit
Purpose The recovery of the manatee species as defined by the federal Endangered Species Act of 1973.
Board of Directors

Jimmy Buffett (Co-Chair)
Helen Spivey (Co-Chair)
Dr. Daryl Domning (Secretary)
Dr. Joseph Siry (Treasurer)
Matt Clemons
Ed Durruthy
Dan Hendrickson

Dr. Roger L. Reep

Save the Manatee (SMC) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit group and membership organization dedicated to conservation of manatees.[1] The organization was founded in 1981 by singer and songwriter Jimmy Buffett, and Governor of Florida (later U.S. Senator) Bob Graham.[2]

Save the Manatee Club raises funds from the Adopt-A-Manatee program to go toward public awareness and education projects, manatee research, rescue and rehabilitation efforts, advocacy and legal action to ensure better protection for manatees and their habitat.[3] There are currently about 40,000 members who belong to Save the Manatee Club. The Club has also assisted state and federal governments with research projects in Florida such as aerial surveys, seagrass studies, telemetry studies, manatee photo identification projects, population modeling and the compilation of over twenty years of research on the population of Blue Spring manatees.[4]

International efforts[edit]

Save the Manatee Club has provided the funds for tracking Manatees in Belize, helping the Caribbean Stranding Network in Puerto Rico to provide care for orphaned manatees, and educating villagers in Nicaragua on Manatees.[5]

Stated core values[edit]

  1. Supporting the most effective conservation actions possible
  2. Making science-based decisions and supporting science-driven policies
  3. Demanding accountability from policy-makers
  4. Working cooperatively


Save the Manatee Club offers a program called Adopt-A-Manatee. This program was conceived by Jimmy Buffett in 1984 as a way to increase awareness of the manatee's plight and to get the public involved in their conservation. Today, people can adopt a manatee and become a member of SMC for as little as $25 USD. Currently, the Club has 34 living manatees with known histories available for adoption as well as two memorial adoptions for manatees that died in 2015.[6] The proceeds from this program go toward public awareness and education programs; manatee research, rescue and rehabilitation efforts; and advocacy and legal action to ensure better protection for manatees and their habitat.[7]


On November 19, 2015, the potential reclassification of the manatee was mentioned in the semi-annual agenda of rules that federal agencies intend to review or develop between fall 2015 and fall 2016.[8] Proposed by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), this downlisting would reclassify all manatee species as "threatened," a less serious level compared to their current status as endangered. Save the Manatee Club is currently active in opposing the possible downlisting.

According to the FWS the criteria that need to be meet in order to add a species to endangered species list, and to keep them on the list are: 1. the present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of its habitat or range; 2. overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or educational purposes; 3. disease or predation; 4. the inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms; 5. other natural or man-made factors affecting its survival.[9] Any one of these conditions is adequate to add a species to the list. However, manatees, and the Florida manatee in particular, are still at substantial risk from habitat loss and motorboat accidents. Additionally, a red tide outbreak at the beginning of 2016 and a lack of FWS personnel to appropriately enforce it's regulations regarding endangered species, put the manatee at greater risk.


  1. ^ "Jimmy Buffett Continues to do Good with 'Save the Manatee'". Skope Magazine. February 7, 2009. Retrieved 2012-06-30. 
  2. ^ "About SMC". Save the Manatee Club. Retrieved 2012-06-30. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ Save the Manatee Club Gulf Base
  5. ^ International Efforts's Site
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Manatees could lose endangered status". Florida Today. Retrieved 2016-02-18. 
  9. ^ "U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service" (PDF). January 2015. Retrieved 15 February 2016. 

External links[edit]