Jacksonville Manatee Festival

Saturday, February 24, 2018; 10 a.m.- 2 p.m.

Creativity, Culture and Conversation. Celebrate one of Florida’s most beloved and threatened residents through the art of conservation. Featuring live music, food, arts, conservation groups and more. Travel down the rabbit-hole to join Alice and friends for our Mad Mana-tea party in the Range of the Jaguar with music provided by Kalani Rose Music from noon to 2 pm. Dainty little sweets will be provided for the tea party, while supplies last, so don’t be late. Learn about the biology and conservation of manatees from our special guest speaker, Dr. Robert Bonde, from 11 am to noon in the Riverview Courtyard. Enjoy a brew (or two) with The Firewater Tent Revival on the Great Lawn from 10 am to 1 pm. Stop by and make a manatee craft, learn about conservation efforts and even adopt a manatee!
Sponsored by Deutsche Bank
Conservation Partners:
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Jacksonville University
Save the Manatee Club
St. Johns River Water Management
University of Florida
Beaches Sea Turtle Patrol
University of North Florida
Artistic Partners:
Art Center
Girl Scouts - Cadets
Seaside Community Charter School
FSCJ Artist Series

Guest Speaker:
Dr. Robert Bonde

Dr. Bonde is a federal Research Biologist with the U.S. Geological Survey and holds an adjunct faculty position with the graduate school of the University of Florida, College of Veterinary Medicine. Bob has been studying manatees for 40 years and specializes in their natural history, biology, genetics, and conservation. Much of his research has been conducted on the manatee population in Crystal River, Florida. He has served on graduate committees for 29 students focusing on topics related to genetics, endocrinology, osteology, virology, behaviour, physiology, contaminants, health monitoring, blood chemistry, and behaviour. In his position he has over 95 academic publications and has written a book along with Dr. Roger Reep entitled The Florida Manatee: Biology and Conservation.


The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens is a proud member of the Manatee Rescue and Rehabilitation Partnership (MRP), a cooperative group of non-profit, private, state, and federal entities who work together to monitor the health and survival of rescued, rehabilitated, and released manatees. Through the MRP, we can rehabilitate Florida manatees right here at our Manatee Critical Care Center until they are healthy enough to return to the wild. Click here for more about the Manatee Rescue and Rehabilitation Partnership.