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Manatee viewing center opens at Tampa Electric’s Big Bend Power Station Friday

Posted at 11:20 AM, Oct 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-29 11:28:16-04

The Manatee Viewing Center at Tampa Electric’s Big Bend Power Station opens for the season on Friday.

When the water temperature of Tampa Bay gets too cold, manatees gather in the warm water discharge canal of TECO's Big Bend power station, sometimes by the hundreds.

Guests can see the mammals up close from multiple boardwalks and vantage points.

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Admission to the Apollo Beach facility is free and the Manatee Viewing Center’s boardwalks are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“The Manatee Viewing Center proves that you really can have fun while learning about the natural treasures of Florida,” said Stan Kroh, manager of Land and Stewardship Programs for Tampa Electric. “We’re proud to be the showcase for Tampa Electric’s commitment to environmental stewardship.”

There is also a stingray touch tank and a nature trail.

The Manatee Viewing Center’s regular hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day from Nov. 1 through April 15, except Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. (The facility closes at 3 p.m. on Christmas Eve.) Comfortable shoes and clothing are recommended. Please note that no pets are allowed at the center, only trained service animals.

For more information, call (813) 228-4289 or click here.