It’s manatee viewing season in the Tampa Bay region. The beautiful manatees love warm water — and Tampa Electric is able to provide it for them. The organization’s Big Bend Power Station in Apollo Beach circulates water from Tampa Bay for cooling, then sends the water flowing clean and warm back into the bay. In the winter months, the manatees leave colder waters to return to this warm and welcoming refuge.
Because of this uniquely unusual migration, Tampa Electric built the Manatee Viewing Center so everyone could have a chance to see manatees gather. Their discharge canal is a state and federally-designated manatee sanctuary that provides critical protection from the cold for these unique, gentle animals.
Location: 6990 Dickman Rd., Apollo Beach, FL 33572
Hours: Open daily from November 1 – April 15, 10am to 5pm. Trails close at 4pm. The viewing center is closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and Easter.
Tampa Electric offers free parking and admission to all who visit. Recently, the Manatee Viewing Center was named one of the top 10 free attractions in America by USA Today.
Learn more about the viewing center on its website.
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