TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Gov. Ron DeSantis said the state will be approving $30 million to help manatees in the state of Florida.

DeSantis made the announcement at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, which has a critical care center that can care for five or six manatees in need before returning them to the wild.

In 2021, Florida saw record-level deaths among its manatee population. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reported a total of 1101 deaths in its preliminary report for 2021.

The death trend was expected to continue into 2022, and as of April 22, the FWC has recorded 522 manatee deaths in the state of Florida.

To mitigate the issues, DeSantis said the record-level of funding will protect manatees and their habitats with an increase of $17 million from the previous amount.

The funds would expand the acute care facilities in the states, restore manatee habitats, and provide supplemental feeding for the animals.

This would include the Warm Mineral Springs Project in Sarasota County.