Dedicated to the Mom You Love

Celebrate mom or anyone who’s been like a mom with a thoughtful and unexpected gift for Mother’s Day.  Adopt-A-Manatee® from Save the Manatee Club, who will send an adoption certificate with a color photo of a real, living manatee, a biography, and a membership handbook.  A newsletter subscription is also included, where members can read about and follow their manatee’s progress.  Funds from the adoption program go toward efforts to help protect manatees and their habitat.

The Club offers 34 manatees for “adoption,” and favorites are selected by visiting the Club’s website at Whether the choice is Gator or Electra– two of the newest additions to the program – or Rocket, Phyllis, Deep Dent, or Doc, adopting a manatee helps them all.

Krista Benes, who lives north of Chicago with her husband and young son, adopted Lily from the Blue Spring State Park adoption program for her mother-in-law for sentimental reasons.  She also adopted Lily for herself as her grandmother’s name was Lillian.  “A manatee adoption is a unique gift to give, and for a fellow manatee lover, it’s the perfect gift,” says Krista.  “Manatees are special to our family.  The Benes family have enjoyed Florida and its wildlife for four generations.  My in-laws live in Bradenton, Florida, and we go look for the manatees whenever we are down there.”

In 1981, Save the Manatee Club, a nonprofit advocacy group, was formed by singer/songwriter Jimmy Buffett and former Florida Governor and U.S. Senator Bob Graham to protect manatees for future generations.

Collisions with boats remain the largest known cause of human-related manatee deaths, whether from the hull’s impact or from the sharp blades of a boat’s propeller.  Most living manatees bear the scars from these collisions, and researchers identify individual manatees using scar patterns.  Cold stress, toxic algae blooms, ingestion of fish hooks and other human debris, and entanglement in crab trap and monofilament line also take a heavy toll on the manatees.

“Florida would not be the same without manatees,” says Krista.  “I am grateful for what Save the Manatee Club does to preserve something I care about, and I support their efforts.”

For more information on adopting a manatee for Mother’s Day, visit Save the Manatee Club’s website at, or call 1-800-432-JOIN (5646).  Also, visit The Manatee Store, the Club’s online shopping center, for more appealing gift ideas at

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