While CMA Research Institute is mainly focused on manatee research in Florida, we are very interested in manatees as they travel further afield during the warmer months. The number of manatee sightings outside Florida has increased over the past decade, as well as the distance of those sightings from Florida. This increased distribution may simply be a factor of increased awareness by citizens on how to spot and report manatee sightings, increased manatee population size, or it could also reflect changes in manatee habitat and/or human disturbance levels in Florida.
Though we know that manatees are found in Georgia during warmer months, there is very little information available about their habitat use and movements along the Georgia coast. We are collaborating with partners at the Georgia Aquarium and Georgia Department of Natural Resources to satellite tag manatees in Georgia to document movements, habitat use, and potential warm water sites around Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base and coastal Georgia. We plan to increase manatee and educational initiatives along coastal Georgia through our extensive partnership and citizen participation.