May 11, 2017

Minutes of the May 11, 2017 Meeting
The Rotary Club of Mobile
Call to Order: The meeting was called to order by John Dukes in the absence of club president Les Greer at 12:15 PM. Michael Pierce offered the invocation and Tom Martenstein welcomed members’ guests and visiting Rotarians. Larry Sindel led the club in song and the Pledge of Allegiance
• Robert Greer announced that members’ name badges will be marked thanking them for donations to the Rotary Children’s Foundation.
• John said that a board meeting will follow next week’s meeting.
• Tom McGehee announced that the new Rotary year begins on July 13 with the Passing of the Gavel and that he welcomes suggestions for the new year’s programs. His email is
• John reminded members that next week’s meeting will honor 2017 graduates and that the speaker will be Norman McCrummen.
Program: Ruth Carmichael, PhD.: Manatee Sighting Network
Ruth Carmichael of the Dauphin Island Sea lab delivered a power point presentation describing the tracking of manatees as they take their annual seasonal trip from the western coast of Florida to the Mobile Bay area. As the water warms manatees begin a northern trek and have been sighted in both Dog and Fowl rivers where they eat vegetation which often clogs boat engines.
Dr. Carmichael described the careful placement of tracking devices on the manatees and a portion of her presentation showed how they were traced from Dog River, down the Mobile ship channel and over to Florida via the inter-coastal waterway.
Manatees have a curious nature, said Dr. Carmichael and have few natural predators. Their worst enemy is the propeller of a speed boat as they float just under the water’s surface. Dr. Carmichael also said that she relies on volunteer efforts as they study the migratory patterns and distributed a sticker with a contact phone number for anyone on our local waterways to have on hand should they spot a manatee.
After answering a number of questions, John Dukes thanked Dr. Carmichael for sharing her information with the club and noted that in her honor a donation has been made to the Rotary International Foundation.
The meeting adjourned at 1:00 PM.
Tom McGehee