Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Unique Acoustic System Protects Manatees From Injuries And Death

Date:
June 11, 2008
Source:
Florida Atlantic University
Summary:
Researchers have developed and improved upon a unique acoustic system designed to keep manatees from being injured or killed by flood gates and boat locks. Locks are used on sections of a canal or river that may be closed off by gates to control the water level to enable the raising and lowering of boats passing through. The "Manatee Acoustic Detection Sensor Protection System" is composed of an array of unique acoustic transmitters and receivers that provide non-contact detection of manatees as they pass through the gates of the lock.

Manatees live in shallow, calm rivers, estuaries, saltwater bays, canals, and coastal areas. They move from fresh to salt water easily and the Florida manatee frequents most areas of Florida. It is estimated that there are approximately 3,000 Florida manatees in existence today.
Credit: Image courtesy of Florida Atlantic University

Researchers at Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute at Florida Atlantic University have developed and improved upon a unique acoustic system designed to keep manatees from being injured or killed by flood gates and boat locks. Locks are used on sections of a canal or river that may be closed off by gates to control the water level to enable the raising and lowering of boats passing through.

The “Manatee Acoustic Detection Sensor Protection System” is composed of an array of unique acoustic transmitters and receivers that provide non-contact detection of manatees as they pass through the gates of the lock. When a manatee blocks the acoustic beams, which they cannot hear, the gates stop and remain open long enough to allow them to pass through safely. Harbor Branch recently received a $5.8 million federal contract from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to install the system in southern Florida on the six navigation locks around Lake Okeechobee. Among these are Moore Haven lock at Clewiston and the Port Mayaca lock where the St. Lucie River meets Lake Okeechobee, a waterway that links the Atlantic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico.

Engineers at Harbor Branch designed manatee protective pressure systems more than a decade ago for canal lift gates used by the South Florida Water Management District. Last summer, the Harbor Branch manatee protection team installed the system on the Ortona Lock on the Caloosahatchee River which is part of the Okeechobee Waterway System operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Corps wanted a new system for lock gates that swing open too fast and sent out a public request for bids for replacement—Harbor Branch’s high frequency sound system won.

“This summer we’ll be entering into phase 2 of the second year of this important project and we will begin assisting with the installation of the devices at six locks in Lake Okeechobee,” said Larry Taylor, project manager for manatee protection systems at Harbor Branch. “We installed the prototype acoustic system about ten years ago in the St. Lucie lock. Since then, we have redesigned the system with underwater sensor cartridges. The device is now smaller, cheaper, faster and easier to operate.”

Aside from watercraft collisions, the highest incidence of human-caused mortality to manatees is due to entrapment in floodgates and canal locks. According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, locks or gates caused at least 191 manatee deaths statewide since 1974. Manatees live in shallow, calm rivers, estuaries, saltwater bays, canals, and coastal areas. They move from fresh to salt water easily and the Florida manatee frequents most areas of Florida. It is estimated that there are approximately 3,000 Florida manatees in existence today.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Florida Atlantic University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Florida Atlantic University. "Unique Acoustic System Protects Manatees From Injuries And Death." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 June 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080606091943.htm>.
Florida Atlantic University. (2008, June 11). Unique Acoustic System Protects Manatees From Injuries And Death. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080606091943.htm
Florida Atlantic University. "Unique Acoustic System Protects Manatees From Injuries And Death." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080606091943.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) — You're more likely to gain weight while watching action flicks than you are watching other types of programming, says a new study published in JAMA. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Get A Mortgage, Receive A Cat — Only In Russia

Get A Mortgage, Receive A Cat — Only In Russia

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) — The incentive is in keeping with a Russian superstition that it's good luck for a cat to be the first to cross the threshold of a new home. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) — The U.N. says the problem is two-fold — quarantine zones and travel restrictions are limiting the movement of both people and food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sharks Off the Menu and on the Tourist Trail in Palau

Sharks Off the Menu and on the Tourist Trail in Palau

AFP (Sep. 2, 2014) — Tourists in Palau clamour to dive with sharks thanks to a pioneering conservation initiative -- as the island nation plans to completely ban commercial fishing in its vast ocean territory. 01:15 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins