From his seat on the U.S. House Appropriations Committee, U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, D-Fla., announced this week that the federal government is sending two grants totaling almost $150,000 to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium to help manatees.
The aquarium will get $77,879 to “increase manatee rescue efforts through the use of new technology to expand capacity and collect health and life history parameters” and $71,795 “to support the Manatee Rescue and Rehabilitation Partnership, enhancing transport capabilities and allowing for more sick or injured manatees to be treated and released back in the wild.”
The funds come from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (USFWS) John H. Prescott Marine Mammal Rescue Assistance Grant Program.
“Protecting Florida’s marine mammals, including the iconic manatee, is deeply important to the health of our environment and coastal communities here in Pinellas,” said Crist on Wednesday. “I commend Clearwater Marine Aquarium for their tireless work in protecting and caring for these gentle giants and am looking forward to seeing this grant money put to work.”
First elected to Congress in 2016 after winning three state offices as a Republican, including serving as Florida’s governor, Crist represents parts of Pinellas County. He faces businesswoman and Air Force veteran Anna Paulina Luna, who won the Republican primary, and write-in candidate Jacob Curnow in November.
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