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Tampa Electric delays opening of Manatee Viewing Center due to Covid-19 concerns

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Posted at 12:19 PM, Oct 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-16 12:21:51-04

Tampa, Fla. — Tampa Electric will delay the opening of the Manatee Viewing Center due to Covid-19 concerns.

Tampa Electric announced on Friday a tentative opening day of January 6, 2021, unless pandemic conditions warrant an additional delay.

The viewing center usually opens in November.

The decision was made to protect the health and safety of visitors and the community.

“The health and safety of our visitors and our employees are our No. 1 priority,” said Stan Kroh, manager of Land and Stewardship Programs for Tampa Electric. “For the hundreds of thousands of visitors who come to the Manatee Viewing Center every winter, we look forward to seeing you when it’s safe to do so.”The waters surrounding Tampa Electric’s Big Bend Power Station in Apollo Beach has become a haven for manatees to stay warm when water temperatures in Tampa Bay reach 68 degrees or colder.

The manatees have gathered in the canal since the early 1970s.

The Viewing Center will have live web cameras in the area for people to watch starting November 1.

RELATED: Hundreds of manatees flock to this Tampa Bay power plant