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Meeting on manatee protection zones

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will hold a public meeting on potential manatee protection zones on Thursday, Sept. 25, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Treasure Island City Hall Auditorium, 120 108th Ave., Treasure Island.

An informal question and answer period will be held from 6 to 6:30 p.m. then the commission will provide a short presentation at 6:30 p.m. followed by an additional opportunity for questions and input.

As called for in the State of Florida's Manatee Management Plan, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission recently evaluated manatee protection measures on the western side of Pinellas County. A similar study was undertaken for the Tampa Bay side of the county in 2003.

Following this analysis, a Local Rule Review Committee was established to review the areas where the data suggested that additional manatee protection may be warranted. The committee was made up of boating, marine, manatee and environmental advocates and most of their recommendations have been incorporated into the manatee protection zones being considered.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is authorized by Florida statutes to enact rules and regulations regarding the state’s fish and wildlife resources.