During the winter months, thousands of visitors make their way to the Three Sisters Springs in Citrus County to see manatees in their natural surroundings. The marine mammals migrate to the warm spring water.
Michael Lusk is the manager for Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife service is gathering information to research issues on the safety of manatees and people during the busy winter months at Three Sisters Spring in Hernando County.
Lusk says, Three Sisters Springs is really the only place in the state that has manatees in a clear water situation that still allows people into it."
The interactions between humans and manatees is where many of the problems begin according to Lusk.
The manatees sometimes leave the roped off sanctuary areas and rest in the deep waters of three sisters spring.
Swimmers and kayakers also have access to the spring.
"The good news is the manatees seem to be doing very well. They look strong. They look healthy," Lusk said.
Lusk says The U.S. Fish and Wildlife service is working to come up with a plan that is good for the manatees and good for the community.