Broward to devise new manatee plan


Published: Wednesday, January 17, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 16, 2007 at 11:44 p.m.

FORT LAUDERDALE — Broward County officials are set to meet Thursday to devise a new manatee protection plan for the region after the state rejected a previous proposal that would have allowed the construction of thousands of new docks.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission told the county it needed to find ways to reduce the number of collisions between manatees and boats.

Watercraft killed seven manatees in Broward County last year, the highest number in at least three decades. Last year, watercraft killed at least 86 manatees statewide, the second-highest total on record, according to the commission.

The rejection of Broward County's plan dealt a blow to the region's boating industry because a current three-year moratorium on the construction of new docks will remain in effect. About 40 proposals for new marine construction have been on hold because of the moratorium, said Frank Herhold, executive director of the Marine Industry Association of South Florida.

"We're disappointed," Herhold told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Broward is one of 13 counties required to produce a manatee protection plan. State and federal wildlife agencies say watercraft are the biggest single threat to manatees.

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