Save the Manatee Club (SMC) of Maitland, Florida has protected the longevity of manatees and their environments for decades. The club’s annual calendar shows sea cows in still life, magnifying the importance of these gargantuan creatures and their delicate environments across 13 detailed pages.
By John Tapley
Each month features captivating imagery of manatees meandering through their natural world: photos, which portray the mighty marine mammals from a multitude of angles and simultaneously showcase their charm and fragility. Many of these pages are themed depending on the month: May, for example, marks Mother’s Day and its page display a heartwarming scene between a manatee mother and her calf; September presents two sea cows haloed by a floating wreath of autumn leaves. Imagery includes the works of Tracy Colson, Wayne Hartley, Cora Berchem, David Schrichte, Patrick M. Rose, Gregory Sweeney, and Red Huber (with permission of The Orlando Sentinel).
Education is key to SMC’s mission to protect manatees and their environments. The 2019 SMC Calendar opens with a message from club executive director Patrick Rose, which outlines recent developments, accomplishments, and ongoing issues facing manatees. Page by page, the calendar shares interesting facts: February’s photo features a sea cow seeking warmer waters at Blue Spring with a caption expressing the importance of warm-water sanctuaries; March’s page, dedicated to Seagrass Awareness Month, gives readers details on the creatures’ favorite food. The bottom of each entry includes a thumbnail image of one of SMC’s Adopt-A-Manatee adoptees along with a brief description of the subject.
The 2019 SMC Calendar currently sells for $7.99 on www.shopsavethemanatee.org – persons who adopt a manatee through the club can get one for free. The work measures 12 by 24 inches when open and is printed in American on Forest Stewardship Council certified paper from managed forests using soy-based ink. All sales from the calendar go to organizations local and international to help protect manatees and their aquatic ecosystems.
For more details on Save the Manatee Club, visit www.savethemanatee.org.