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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Environmental group vows suit to stop swimming with manatees in Kings Spring

Published 3/30/2010 St. Petersburg Times
Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility filed a notice of intent to sue on Monday giving the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 60 days to close the spring or face a lawsuit.

Annually, an estimated 100,000 tourists swim with manatees in and around Kings Spring at the headwaters of the Crystal River in Kings Bay. The spring is one of the primary sources for the river for the warm water that manatees seek when temperatures fall.

In a related matter, because of the continuing cold gulf temperatures, the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge on Monday issued a request for people to voluntarily stay out of the marked Kings Spring and Three Sisters Springs manatee sanctuaries until April 14. The sanctuaries typically end at the end of March but two weeks ago there were still almost 300 manatees in Citrus waters.

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