Name: Blue Spring Adventures Location: Blue Spring State Park, Orange City, FL Website: bluespringadventures.com Types of Tours: Kayak and canoe tours and rentals, boat tours, Segway tours, tubing
Stewardship: The team at Blue Spring Adventures prides themselves in researching information given out to the public and keeping up to date with manatee news. Handling large crowds of park visitors, they offer both personal guided tours and rentals that include a manatee-safe paddling orientation. Staff members assist Blue Spring State Park, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), and Save the Manatee Club in monitoring manatees for potential rescue situations. Blue Spring Adventures plans to support manatee conservation and stewardship in their first year as certified Guardian Guide.
Name: Crystal River Watersports Location: Crystal River, Florida Website: crystalriverwatersports.com Types of Tours: snorkeling, scuba diving, fishing, and sightseeing.
Stewardship: Crystal River Watersports (CRWS) is proud to be one of the original members of the Guardian Guides program. In addition to seeking out expert training, CRWS staff volunteers to assist in the setting of manatee sanctuary lines, health assessments, and manatee rescues and releases. Previously, CRWS has made donations to Coastal Camp Citrus at the Marine Science Station in Crystal River so youth could attend a marine science summer camp. Since camps and school trips were cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic, CRWS donated over 300 books about manatees to elementary and middle school students. Manatee adoptions were provided for 5 classrooms as well.
Name: Lake Life Paddle Location: Orlando, Florida Website: lakelifepaddle.com Types of Tours: Stand up paddle boarding at Blue Spring, Silver Springs, and Central Florida lakes
Stewardship: Lake Life Paddle has hosted multiple waterway cleanups and uses every stand up paddle boarding tour as an opportunity for cleaning trash out of our waterways. They make a point to educate guests that no matter how small the piece of trash removed, it can save the life of an innocent animal. They plan to host a cleanup event each quarter in 2021. In addition, Lake Life Paddle has also supported manatee conservation with their Yoga for Manatees event, raising funds to adopt four manatees from Save the Manatee Club.
Name: Manatees in Paradise Location: Crystal River, Florida Website: manateesinparadise.com Types of Tours: snorkeling, pontoon boat scenic tours
Stewardship: Captains Stacy and Mike Dunn have been working to protect manatees for over 15 years. In addition to their education-focused tours, they have volunteered with government agencies and conservation organizations to help monitor sick or injured manatees, including the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), and the Clearwater Marine Aquarium Research Institute (formerly known as Sea to Shore Alliance). They have also assisted in hundreds of manatee rescues and releases.
Name: Manatee Kayaking Company Location: Manatee Park, Fort Myers, FL Website: manateekayakingcompany.com/ Types of Tours: guided kayaking tour, kayak rentals
Stewardship: Manatee Kayaking Company offers professional service with a local knowledge of the area. Their team of guides are dedicated to educating guests about manatees and their habitat. They are looking forward to more stewardship opportunities during their first year as Guardian Guides.
Name: Seaway Outfitters Location: Fort Myers Beach area Website: seawayoutfitters.com/ Types of Tours: kayaking, mini powerboat tours
Stewardship:Tim Martell, the owner of Seaway Outfitters, is a certified Florida Master Naturalist who has been conducting kayaking tours in the Estero Bay area for many years. He has assisted with many wildlife rescues and conservation efforts and was given the Manatee Hero Award by Save the Manatee Club in 2013 for rescuing several manatees during a red tide event. Seaway Outfitters looks forward to more manatee and habitat stewardship as a new Guardian Guides participant.