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Rediscovering the Manatees of Crystal River: Preserving Ecosystems and Revitalizing Communities



The manatee is an incredible creature that has become locally renowned in Crystal River, with murals, mailboxes, and statues all featuring them.

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Bad news for manatees propogated for some time as their population declined, yet human intervention has allowed for some population recovery.

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However, their primary food source, seagrass, is in danger.

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A depletion of seagrass meadows has had not only environmental but commercial devastation, as these areas are home to a variety of aquatic species and are relied upon by the local fishing, tourism, and restaurant industries.

To rebuild Crystal River and the manatee populations, the organization Save Crystal River has set out to complete a pilot project by July 1, 2023.

The goal of this project is to be a model for other similar communities facing this problem.

Lisa Moore, president of Save Crystal River, reminds us to appreciate such unique places and to be aware that similar challenges can arise.

The Retreat at Crystal Manatee is located in the heart of Crystal River, a five minute walk from downtown areas and the local park.

Within, guests can find freshly-baked pastries and nearby, the emerald-hued Wallace’s at the Greenhouse can satisfy culinary desires.

If an outing for the day is desired, Explorida offers a variety of boat trips such as manatee swimming, scallop dives, and private sunset cruises.

Humans have an incredible impact on species, in both negative and positive ways.

Through human intervention and environmental protection, Crystal River is beginning to reclaim its heritage and rebuild a safe community for manatees.



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