The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) and Gulf Coast Community Foundation have announcing a new collaboration to connect locals to a manatee habitat restoration in the Warm Mineral Springs Creek and Salt Creek areas. The partnership will provide multilingual education for the local community about an upcoming restoration project, as well as human impacts to the springs system and manatee habitat through updated and improved signage, one-on-one outreach and community meetings, informational brochures and social media.
In south Sarasota County, the mild, clear waters of Warm Mineral Springs connect to the Myakka River and provide winter habitat for more than 100 manatees, which are facing unprecedented challenges this year. Over the years, Warm Mineral Springs Creek and Salt Creek have been degraded by sedimentation, erosion, debris and human disturbance by local residents and tourists. A $3 million habitat restoration project led by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will address key habitat and community needs. To maintain the long-term benefits of the restoration work, communication and engagement with the local, diverse, and multilingual Eastern European community is essential.