The West Indian Manatee is an endangered species; they live in the shallow warm waters & sadly to say that boats are the cause of most of the causality. Manatees are large, fully aquatic, mostly herbivorous marine mammal sometimes known as the sea cow.
There are a couple of trips daily year round from American Pro Dive where you meet at the dive center at 7:00AM, 8:30AM or Noon. It’s best to do the earlier tours because manatees are easier to find in the morning. The dive center does guarantee that you will see manatees. The first half hour is devoted to a briefing on the manatees do’s & don’t with a short video & setting up with gear.
The dive shop was awesome. The staff was all very friendly & helpful to all the people who walked threw the door. After you get sorted with gear & all the other snorkelers showed up you will get split up into a couple of different groups of the snorkel briefing. Basically it was to watch an US Fish & Wildlife Service video that is required by law in Florida. You are not allowed to chase & harasses the manatees, if you so do, it is a $500 Florida fine & up to $1,000 Federal fine. The manatees are protected under the Marine Protection Act & The Endanger Species Act to name a couple of the big laws protecting them. Basically, you hop in your car & drive over to Pete's Pier for the actual encounter. An AMAZING experience is in store for you in the Crystal River National Wildlife Park!