Looking for a gift that will pay big dividends for Florida wildlife?
How about buying a $5 decal that will help protect Florida’s manatees and sea turtles?
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has issued new decals that celebrate the manatees and sea turtles that thrived 500 years ago when the Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon landed on the peninsula he named La Florida, land of flowers.
You can order the decals online at myfwc.com or pick one up at your local tax collectors’ office. Your donation will support the research, rescue, rehabilitation and management efforts for these iconic Florida residents. Manatees and sea turtles were among the many animals and reptiles encountered by de Leon who designated a cluster of islands 70 miles west of Key West as Las Tortugas, because of the high number of sea turtles nesting there.
The islands of Dry Tortugas National Park and many other Florida beaches still provide nesting opportunities for loggerhead and green turtles, which come back year after year to lay their eggs. Today, the manatee is the state’s designated marine mammal, and the loggerhead sea turtle is the state’s saltwater reptile.