Manatees are seasonal visitors to Maryland waters in the summer as they travel up the East Coast from Florida. Manatees feed on submerged aquatic grasses (SAVs) and a 2015 study by the Virginia Institute of Marine Science found that SAV distribution in the Chesapeake Bay has increased by twenty one percent throughout 2014.
While there have not been any confirmed sightings in Maryland in 2016, Virginia has recorded at least five confirmed sightings since June. As temperatures drop in September and October, the manatees with head back to warmer waters along the southern Atlantic coast.
If you spot a manatee in Maryland, please call the Animal Rescue hotline at (410) 576-3880 to report it. Animal Rescue staff monitor the location of visiting manatees and work closely with Maryland Department of Natural Resources, the U.S. Coast Guard and the Fish & Wildlife Service to report cases and help ensure their safety.
Be on the lookout for manatees this September!