“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Fort Myers in Lee County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)

Boating with Wildlife

Boating with Wildlife Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Sandra Hughes, October 16, 2015
1. Boating with Wildlife Marker
Inscription.  Kayak clinics and guided trips available. Please check flyers available at the visitor center for more information or visit our website at

Be a real friend to our wildlife: Stay a stranger
Paddling provides you with very close access to the abundant wildlife found in this area, but with that opportunity comes responsibility. Do not force or entice animals to change their normal behavior. They behave the way they do because it allows them to survive. Changing that behavior endangers their survival.

Stay far enough away from birds so they don’t need to fly away for safety. Try not to force swimming animals into shallow water or follow them into creeks. Let turtles and alligators warm themselves in the sun undisturbed. Get up close and personal through binoculars or telephone lenses.

The animals you many see have established their diets over the millennia. Their food does not come from the grocery store or a fast-food restaurant, let alone your hand. That flower your are tempted to pick is somebody’s dinner.

Be careful with fishing line, hooks and lures. If you snag a mangrove
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branch (and you will), retrieve your line. Leaving broken lines hanging from trees or in the water endangers all wildlife.

If it goes out with you in your boat, it should come back with you in your boat. Whether it’s biodegradable or not, if you throw it over the side, it’s litter and endangers our wildlife. These are wild animals. DO NOT PET OR FEED WILD ANIMALS.

Boating Safety
. Tell someone on shore your destination and expected return time or leave a note face down or folded on your car dashboard.
• Check all safety equipment before you go.
• Carry a cell phone and /or VHF radio.
• Be aware of changing weather.
• Don’t overload your boat with people or equipment.
• Children under 6 must wear life jackets. It is recommended that adults wear them also.

Boaters and Manatees
• Be alert in shallow areas: Manatees feed on seagrass.
• Wear polarized sunglasses. They help you see manatees better.
• Observe posted speed limits. Manatees’ reaction times are slow.
• Watch the water surface: Circular ripples indicate their presence; watch for hairy snouts or tail swirls.
• Don’t approach manatees when swimming, diving, or boating. Do not chase a manatee.

Beware: You may accidentally hook birds when casting and retrieving. Gently reel in the bird and quiet it by placing
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a town over its head. If the hook is in a place where you can remove it without hurting the bird, do it. Use tools to reduce trauma, such as pushing the hook through the skin, then mashing flat or cutting off bait. Or contact CROW-Clinic for the Rehabilitation of wildlife (259)427-3644. Do not just cut the line that’s a death sentence.

Funding for sign provided by the West Coast Island Navigation District.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: AnimalsEnvironment.
Location. 26° 41.59′ N, 81° 46.666′ W. Marker is in Fort Myers, Florida, in Lee County. Marker is on Palm Beach Boulevard. Marker is located inside park. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 10901 Palm Beach Blvd, Fort Myers FL 33905, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Tracking Manatees (here, next to this marker); Relatives and Relationships (here, next to this marker); Manatee Young (here, next to this marker); Pine Flatwoods Habitat (here, next to this marker); Scrub Oak Habitat (here, next to this marker); Responsible Fishing (here, next to this marker); Mangroves - Trees of the Sea (here, next to this marker); Munching Manatees (here, next to this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fort Myers.
Credits. This page was last revised on May 4, 2018. It was originally submitted on August 7, 2017, by Sandra Hughes Tidwell of Killen, Alabama, USA. This page has been viewed 152 times since then and 10 times this year. Photo   1. submitted on August 7, 2017, by Sandra Hughes Tidwell of Killen, Alabama, USA. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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Jun. 12, 2024