The Boston Celtics crushed the Miami Heat Thursday but one of the Celtics’ owners recently donated $2 million to help a Florida native get back on its game from a long losing streak – manatees.

Rob Hale, a telecommunications and real estate entrepreneur in the Boston area, and his wife, Karen, donated the money for manatee conservation through their charitable Fox Rock Foundation .

“Our family feels called to manatee conservation not only because they are intelligent, curious creatures, but also because of the critical role they play in aquatic ecosystems,” Karen Hale said in a statement released by Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida.

More than 1,600 manatees have perished since the beginning of last year in large part because of a dying ecosystem in the Indian River Lagoon along Florida’s east coast.

The statement said the Hales learned of the manatees’ plight while visiting their home in Naples.

Of their donation, $1 million went to the Fish & Wildlife Foundation and the other $1 million was given to the Save the Manatee Club.

The foundation has used some of the donation already for replanting seagrass, a primary food for manatees that has been dying off because of the lagoon’s ecosystem woes.

“Habitat loss is the main threat to the majority of our state’s plants and animals,” said Andrew Walker, foundation president and chief executive officer.

Hale founded Granite Communications 20 years ago. The company was named in 2019 by the Boston Business Journal as the most charitable contributor in Massachusetts, contributing more than $24 million to organizations.

In 2012, the NBA announced that Hale had joined the Celtics ownership team.

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