A manatee that has been making the Jersey Shore home this summer paid a visit to a marina in Brick today.
The visitor from points south was spotted at Beaton’s Boatyard off Mantoloking Road on Tuesday.
According to a social media post from Beaton’s, staff spotted the manatee this afternoon and notified the Marine Mammal Stranding Center of its whereabouts. The rescue group has been tracking the manatee in hopes of keeping tabs on it as the weather gets cooler. In 2009, the group arranged for a manatee to be brought back to Florida on a Coast Guard plane after it stayed in New Jersey waters a bit too long.
The stranding center has cautioned boaters to remain vigilant this season since at least two manatees have been spotted in New Jersey. There have been sightings in Great Bay, the Toms River and a lagoon in Point Pleasant so far.
The manatee is protected under federal law by the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 and by the Endangered Species Act of 1973, which make it illegal to harass, hunt, capture or kill any marine mammal. In Florida, state laws require no wake zones in areas where the creatures usually congregate. Manatees are described as “friendly, peaceful” creatures by the National Wildlife Federation, but they are also known to be inquisitive, sometimes attracted to the very boats that pose a danger to them.