County looks at lower speeds to reduce manatee deaths

SARASOTA, Fla. – A Florida wildlife commission gave preliminary approval Wednesday to a plan for reducing manatee deaths by expanding slow boat speed zones in Sarasota County, according to a report in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

The added slow speed zones would increase areas where boats can run just above idle by 3 percent in Sarasota County’s waterways. The zones will go into effect only after final approval from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission board.

The board will set a public hearing in Sarasota County sometime next year before a vote on the changes, likely in the spring or early summer, according to the Herald-Tribune. Sarasota County has not updated its zones since 1992.

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