"Federal officials failed to protect the areas manatees depend on, resulting in mass starvation."
"FORT LAUDERDALE — Conservation groups sued the federal government Tuesday over last year’s record manatee deaths, saying the government failed to follow the law by designating protected habitat for the marine mammals.
Manatees starved to death by the hundreds on Florida’s east coast last year, largely due to the loss of seagrass in the polluted Indian River Lagoon. The famine led to a record number of deaths, with more than 1,100 dying from starvation, boat strikes, cold stress and other causes.
The lawsuit says the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service failed to follow the law by designating sufficient critical habitat, areas that would get extra protection because they’re important to manatees. The agency agreed 12 years ago that additional critical habitat was warranted, the lawsuit states, but never followed up to establish it."