Florida has long taken up the mantel to "save the manatee." Bumper stickers and license plates in Florida have urged manatee conservation since the early 1980s. Breathing in the harmful hydrocarbons from the surface is one issue; swimming through water contaminated by oil is another. The sensitive eyes and mucous membranes manatees have are likely to be affected by the oil, and sadly the young manatee pups are most at risk. The long term effects of oily food may affect the manatees for years following the cleanup.
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