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Decimated by famine, Florida’s manatees face an uncertain future

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Saturday, July 31, 2021

At least 881 manatees have died in Florida since January, far exceeding the annual average of 578 deaths between 2015 and 2020. Ground zero for the sudden uptick in deaths is the Indian River Lagoon, a 156-mile-long estuary that serves as a seasonal habitat for thousands of manatees. Decades of water pollution from farming and real estate development has pushed the ecosystem to the brink, causing the manatees to perish from an almost entirely manmade disaster: famine.

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