An internal report released yesterday from Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones’ office found that the city is spending “far less than is needed” toward saving the region’s dwindling manatee population.
Reacting almost immediately to the study’s findings, which uncovered “a complete disregard for the endangerment of the region’s sea cows at nearly all levels of local government,” Jones directed nearly $4.3 million for preservation of the fully aquatic marine mammals, which are found predominantly in the warm waters of Central Virginia.
“Manatees are in declining numbers all over the world, and it would be inappropriate for us to let these precious animals slip under or off our radar here locally,” Jones said of the herbivorous creatures that enjoy the warm, shallow waters of the James River.
“Manatee extinction is probably the No. 1 most pressing civic issue we face as Richmonders,” he added.
Despite the increased preservation of Richmond’s sea cow population, the city has yet to take measures to protect the region’s dugongs, star-nosed moles, or Chinese giant salamanders.