Conservation Groups Sue to Protect Florida Manatees

The Center for Biological Diversity, Defenders of Wildlife, and Save the Manatee Club sued the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) for unreasonable delay in implementing revisions to critical habitat designation for Florida manatees, which FWS found “warranted” more than a decade ago. More than 1,100 manatees died in 2021, with many of the record-breaking number of deaths attributable primarily to pollution of critical manatee habitat. Plaintiffs argue that FWS has violated the Endangered Species Act and Administrative Procedure Act, and they are asking the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to enter an order requiring FWS to publish a proposed rule to revise the critical habitat for Florida manatees within 120 days of the court’s order.