The West Indian Manatee is a marine mammal protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 and the Endangered Species Act of 1973. These acts make it illegal to harass, hunt, capture, or kill any marine mammal. The manatee is a large slow-moving herbivorous animal that resembles a blunt-nosed, stubby-flippered seal. These animals mainly inhabit the waters of Florida, although they have been sighted from south Virginia around the Gulf coast to Texas. They are quite docile and have no natural enemies, but are an endangered species, mostly because collisions with small craft cause a substantial number of deaths each year. In the winter, manatees move from the cooler waters of the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico and congregate, sometimes in large numbers, in warmer freshwater rivers and streams and near the cooling water discharge outlets of power plants. It is during these high concentration periods that most manatee deaths occur.
NOTE: Regulated zones within Port Everglades include the entire main turning basin west of the line between Light 11 and Light 12 and south along the Intracoastal Waterway through and including the Dania Cut-off Canal.