Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Remember to cut apart plastic beverage rings. Marine mammals can become entangled in the loops, which can be harmful and potentially fatal. Properly dispose of toxic wastes, such as oil from automobile engines or lawnmowers. Never dump waste chemicals down a sewer which can pollute water sources. Limit your use of disposable products, particularly plastic. Take a canvas bag with you when you shop instead of using paper and plastic ones from stores.

Keep Your Distance From Marine Animals in the Wild

Never feed or attempt to feed wild marine mammals or sea turtles. This creates a dependence on humans for food rather than on their own predatory abilities, and encourages them to approach boats and dangerous areas with high vessel traffic. Keep a minimum distance of at least 50 yards from dolphins, 100 yards from whales, and 500 yards from right whales – it’s the law! If approached by a marine mammal or sea turtle, put your watercraft’s engine in neutral and allow the animal to pass.

Get Help If You Encounter a Stranded Marine Mammal

If you come across a stranded marine mammal, DO NOT PUSH IT BACK. Marine mammals such as dolphins typically strand because of injury or illness, and they require expert assistance. If you encounter any wildlife in distress in the state of Florida, call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission hotline at 1-888-404-3922.

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