FWC News Release
Contact: Dawn Griffin, 850-488-5600

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is repairing and replacing manatee protection zone signs in Indian River County that were damaged by storms or have deteriorated over time. The work is taking place in the Indian River at Wabasso Bridge and Causeway and should be completed this month.

Marker repairs at this location are being done in response to the FWC’s On-call Response Program. Callers have reported many boat and personal watercraft owners speeding in the manatee zone since the signs were damaged or displaced.

Manatee protection zones have been in effect in Indian River County since 1979. The protection zone at the Wabasso Bridge is regulated as “slow speed, minimum wake” year-round. However, FWC officers have been limited in their ability to enforce the rule without adequate posting of the zone.

The Wabasso Causeway is a popular area for personal watercraft owners, who frequent the beach areas on the causeway. Boats launching at the Wabasso Boat Ramp, on the south side of the causeway, add to the vessel traffic.

Maps of the FWC manatee protection zones in Indian River County, as well as those of other counties, can be found at www.MyFWC.com/manatee/data/mapref.htm. To report a damaged or missing waterway marker, please call 1-866-405-BUOY (2869).