Galves says that while no-wake zones are clearly marked, enforcement is meager and people often don't slow down.
"A lot of it has to do with peoples' lack of understanding or appreciation for manatees," he said. "They have no respect for wake zones or no reason to comply. To me, it seems like a small, easy thing for them to comply and just slow down."
This coupled with pollution, loss of valuable coastal habitat like mangroves, and (still) the threat of poaching have been disastrous for the species in recent years.
Sadly, some of the hardest hit are also the youngest, Galves said.
"If a mother and her calf are feeding and a boat comes, the mother's first instinct is to run. They communicate using chirps at a low volume, and it's very difficult for them to get back together [after they've been separated]."