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What is Guardian Guides?

Save the Manatee Club’s Guardian Guides Certification is a voluntary recognition and education program offered to ecotourism providers in Florida that promote stewardship of manatees and their aquatic ecosystems. The goal of the Guardian Guides Certification is to eliminate to the extent possible disturbance to manatees from commercial manatee-viewing activities. Manatee-viewing tours can be a platform for education, appreciation, and conservation of this imperiled species. You can help foster these positive actions and prevent disturbance to manatees as a certified Guardian Guide.

Why do manatees need our stewardship?

Human activities are harming manatees, and only our compassion and action can protect them. Manatees are listed as vulnerable at the international level by the IUCN World Conservation Union. They are listed as threatened at the federal level by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and at the state level by the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission. Learn more about threats to manatees.

How do I become certified?

Tour providers seeking certification in the program must:

• Complete an online application.
• Adhere to the principles of the program.
• Participate in an initial training workshop and annual continuing education workshop.
• Receive initial on-site evaluation to ensure program compliance, and annual check-in thereafter.
•Accept incognito participant inspectors at any time to ensure program compliance.


Why should I become certified?

Certification is free. Certified Guardian Guides:

• Earn recognition with the world’s only certification for responsible manatee-viewing.
• Receive use of the Guardian Guides logo, a listing on the directory, and features in Save the Manatee Club media.
• Access for educational resources.
• Receive training and continuing education from Save the Manatee Club.
• Provide world-class experiences for the guests through education and stewardship.
• Follow scientifically-informed guidelines and enhance customer satisfaction. Tourists want to travel sustainably. Guardian Guides stand out from other tour options.
• Help protect the very activities and resources on which their tours thrive: viewing imperiled manatees and appreciating their aquatic habitats.

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Save the Manatee CLub
317 Wekiva Springs Rd. Suite 100, Longwood, FL, 32779  |  © 2024 Save the Manatee Club. All Rights Reserved