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FWC Announces 2009-2010 Manatee Decal Art Winner

2009 decal winner 175.gifThe Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) received 86 art entries in the manatee decal contest for 2009-2010. The FWC announced on Monday that Deanna Parsons, an 11th grader at Rockledge High School in Brevard County, won the top honor of having her painting used in the design of the FWC’s manatee decal this year.

The winning art depicts a face view of the manatee. Parsons’ watercolor featured tints of light blue and green as the backdrop.

“I believe the manatee to be a magnificent animal, and it’s one of my favorite sea creatures,” Parsons said. “I wanted this manatee to be near the surface of the water, where the sunlight is free to play on the animal’s skin as it pleases, creating a beautiful effect.”

The theme for this year’s contest was “Rescue Me!” That message tops the decal. The bottom contains the Wildlife Alert number people should call to report sick, injured, entangled or orphaned manatees.

It is fitting that the contest winner is from Brevard County, which records a high number of manatee rescues or recoveries each year. Rockledge High School had several students place in the final round of the FWC’s 18th annual Manatee Decal Art Contest.

The top six statewide finalists include:

First place – Deanna Parsons, Rockledge High School, Brevard County;

Second place – Sara Kuta, Rockledge High School, Brevard County;

Second place – Maria Perez, Pembroke Pines Charter High School, Broward County;

Third place – Taylor Gentle, Rockledge High School, Brevard County;

Third place – Johnny Hobbs, Olympia High School, Orange County;

Third place – Christina Jensen, Lake Mary High School, Seminole County.

{sidebar id=1}County tax collectors’ offices throughout the state distribute the manatee decals. Anyone choosing to donate $5 or more to manatee conservation receives a decal. Proceeds support manatee research, recovery, rehabilitation, management and educational programs administered through the FWC’s Save the Manatee Trust Fund. Decals with artwork designed by last year’s winner, Austyn Bynon, are available at county tax collectors’ offices through the end of June. Parsons’ winning design becomes available in July and will be available through June 2010.

The FWC’s Marine Mammal Pathobiology Lab and research field staff respond to statewide calls regarding sick, injured, entangled or orphaned manatees. Personnel from various agencies and organizations work with FWC biologists to rescue and transport manatees to rehabilitation facilities around the state or to recover dead manatees for research purposes. To report a distressed manatee, call the FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922).

For more information on Florida’s manatees, go to .

This article originally published on May 19, 2009.

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