Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Establishment of an Additional Manatee Protection Area in Lee County, FL
We, the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), establish an additional manatee protection area in Lee County, Florida (Pine Island- Estero Bay Manatee Refuge). This action is authorized under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA) and the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, as amended (MMPA), to further recovery of the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) by preventing the taking of one or more manatees. We are designating an area in Lee County as a manatee refuge in which certain waterborne activities will be regulated. Specifically, watercraft will be required to proceed at either ``slow speed'' or at not more than 25 miles per hour, on an annual or seasonal basis, as described in the rule. We also announce the availability of a final environmental assessment for this action.