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Guidelines and Principles

In addition to following local, state, and federal laws that protect manatees and their aquatic habitat (such as never harassing or feeding manatees), program participants must follow these principles.

Scarred manatee with calf
   Many manatees are injured by boat strikes. 

Principle #1: Prioritize education for guides and guests to create a true ecotourism experience.


Principle #2: Vary times & locations of tours and prevent over-crowding to allow manatees the ability to rest undisturbed.


Principle #3: Look, No Hands! No touching or disturbing
Manatees and snorkelers
Swimmers should remain still in the water and observe manatees passively.
manatees. Responsible ecotourism requires nature to remain in control of all experiences.




Manatees and kayakersPrinciple #4: Foster Stewardship

Stewardship of natural resources is a key component of ecotourism. Ideally, there is a symbiosis among the environment, tour operators, & tourists, whereby each component benefits from the others.

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