Amidst a busy, demanding schedule that rarely lets up for a moment, prominent Hollywood actor and producer Alec Baldwin set aside some time recently to help Florida's imperiled manatees. Donating both his time and talent to Save the Manatee Club, the Golden Globe winner of NBC TV's Emmy award-nominated comedy series 30 Rock, recorded several audio public service announcements in a Manhattan studio.
Save the Manatee Club had contacted Baldwin after The Simpson's 2005 season opener, "Bonfire of the Manatees," where he starred as the animated guest voice of "Caleb Thorn," a biologist who is passionate about protecting manatees. At the recording session, Baldwin remarked, "Who thought that, like my Caleb Thorn character, eventually I'd be saving manatees, too!"
The 30-second radio messages, which are currently being distributed to stations nationwide, promote manatee awareness, and urge the public to get involved and help the beleaguered marine mammals.
"We are grateful to Mr. Baldwin for lending his support to help manatees," says Patrick Rose, Executive Director of Save the Manatee Club. "Manatees face escalating threats to their everyday and long-term survival - they need as much help as possible."
Last year was the deadliest year documented for manatees with 417 recorded deaths. According to manatee mortality data from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the leading known cause of manatee deaths was from boat strikes, with at least 92 killed in 2006. There are over one million registered boats in Florida along with another 500,000 boats from other states that also share the waters, putting manatees, other aquatic wildlife, and the boating public at risk.
Save the Manatee Club presented Baldwin with an honorary adoption of "Whiskers," a manatee in their Adopt-A-Manatee program. Funds from the Club's three adoption programs go toward education, conservation, manatee research, rescue and rehabilitation efforts, and advocacy and legal action.
Around 3,000 manatees exist in Florida waters today, and they are listed as endangered by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. In 1981, singer/songwriter Jimmy Buffett and former Florida Governor and U.S. Senator, Bob Graham, founded Save the Manatee Club, a membership-based, national nonprofit organization.
"We just can't thank Alec Baldwin enough for adding his voice to our cause," said Rose.To listen to the audio spots, visit the Club's web site at: http://www.savethemanatee.org/video_audio_psas.htm. For more information on manatees and the Adopt-A-Manatee program, and to sign up for their free E-newsletter, contact Save the Manatee Club at 500 N. Maitland Ave., Maitland, FL 32751, call 1-800-432-JOIN (5646), or check out their web site at www.savethemanatee.org.