Monday, March 03, 2008

Tampa Electric's Manatee Viewing Center

Our visit to the South Florida Museum last weekend peaked our interest in learning more about manatees. This is one of the lookout platforms at Tampa Electric's Manatee Viewing Center. The water around Apollo Beach is warmed by the power production process at Big Bend Power Station. Manatees seek refuge in this canal when the water temperature in Tampa Bay gets below 68 degrees Fahrenheit. You can see hundreds of manatees here in the winter time.

There were manatees everywhere! Here are 2 manatees sticking their noses out of the water for a breath of air.

Where ever we could see a swell in the water there were manatees. They played by rolling around in the water together. Sometimes 4-6 bodies would be rolling around on top of each other. There was a lot more to see, but it was a work day, and we couldn't stay long. There's another walkway with a butterfly garden and another viewing platform. It's an interesting place to explore and the cost of entry is free!

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