I'm back! :D
Endangered species art feature for March 2016 - the Florida Manatee!
The gentle and charismatic Florida manatee is truly one of my favorite animals. This distant relative to the elephant has no natural predators and they spend their happy, carefree, lazy Florida days munching seagrass and slowly traveling along the saltwater shallows. They are very curious and playful - and surprisingly graceful - I have seen them somersault and "dance" in the water.
Sadly the biggest threat to the manatee's survival is collision with recreational watercraft. Scientists believe that the manatee population will not recover unless this cause of death is controlled. *Please* to all who operate watercraft in the manatee's home waters - obey the speed rules and manatee zone signs - do not speed through shallow waters or over seagrass beds - and please always wear polarized glasses so that you have a better chance of seeing these endangered animals in your path.
(I know that it was recently decided that manatees are no longer endangered, but I strongly disagree with that decision. Now I am not a scientist, just a humble artist who hangs out with the manatees here in Florida, noticing all their boat collision wounds and watching the polluted water kill their habitat. As long as manatees are being killed every day by careless people operating recreational watercraft, and as long as Florida continues to allow poisonous water to be dumped over the seagrass beds that the manatees rely on for survival - the only 6000-ish manatees that are left are - as a species - still very endangered in a very literal sense.)
Link to more manatee info and boating tips here
Another way to help: sign the petitions to stop dumping toxic water into the Indian River Lagoon - a manatee hotspot:
• Stop Dumping Okeechobee Water into the Indian River Lagoon, Petition #1
• Stop Dumping Okeechobee Water, Petition #2
This piece is a watercolor and ink painting, and I decided to get crazy and distress the paper underneath where I painted the manatee, to add a very uniquely textured "mossy" effect. :) Original painting is 8x10.
Legal: All artwork displayed here is © Amber Marine 2016, all rights reserved. Do not alter. Do not use this artwork in any way without a directly written legal agreement from the artist.