Manatee Halfway House gets financial backing


From Coral Gables News - Your Hometown Newspaper

"Providing Positive News Throughout Dade County"

Weekend of April 7-10, 1994

by Lee Stephens


A group of shipping industry companies, which comprises the Miami River Marine Group, is working together to help pay for a manatee halfway house at the Miami Seaquarium, announced Fran Bohnsack, the organization's executive director.

The group has pledged the estimated $100,000 needed to restore a Seaquarium lagoon where slow-swimming manatees injured from both man-made and natural causes are cared for until they are healthy enough to be returned to the wild. Additional funds will be needed to create a state-of-the-art recovery facility and hospital.

"We are more than happy to support this effort," said Joseph Fadel, general manager for Antillean Marine Shipping Corporation, one of the Miami-based shipping companies which has contributed money towards construction of holding pens for injured manatees." These docile creatures are susceptible to serious injury such as being slashed by boat propellers, and are in need of adequate care during convalescence."

Other shipping industry companies making contributions include Bernuth Marine Shipping, Cliff Berry Inc. East River Terminals, Hyde Shipping Corporation, Coastal Tug & Barge, Miami Ship Services, Port Everglades and the Port of Miami.

The proposed 5 million dollar facility will feature a natural lagoon, an underwater observation deck, a hospitalization treatment tank and a board-walk observation deck. Although the facility will not be open to the public, school children, scientists and government Offcials will have access. Up to a dozen manatees will be housed in the new facility.

According to Bohnsack, the remaining funds required to complete the project will come from a fund-raising campaign designed to increase the public's awareness about how they can improve the survival chances of the giant sea mammal.

For ways to help, visit: http://www.manateehospital.org


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