Manatees have also been a huge part of the Tampa Bay area and Apollo beach. The Facebook page for the Manatee Viewing Center says, “The Manatee Viewing Center’s mission is to educate the public about the Florida manatee and its habitat. The center is a state and federally designated manatee sanctuary. During the center’s open season, Nov. 1 through April 15, displays, interactive exhibits and more teach visitors of all ages about the life cycle of the manatee and the challenges it faces. Center volunteers and staff, many of them TECO Energy retirees, answer questions and provide additional educational information. It’s located at 6990 Dickman Road in Apollo Beach, Florida.“
If you haven’t seen a Florida manatee closeup, this is a wonderful opportunity to do so. They are such gentle creatures and a reminder of the beauty of Florida.
Tampa Electric says “They built the tank and The Florida Aquarium maintains it, with aquarium staff handling the sensitive work to feed and care for the rays. It’s another example of the partnership between the aquarium and Tampa Electric that you can see growing at the nearby Florida Conservation and Technology Center, an effort that also includes the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.”
They add, “As approximately five million visitors have come to know well since 1986, the Manatee Viewing Center offers much more to experience as well: habitat trails, butterfly gardens, vibrant displays, a café and gift shop … and of course the manatees themselves, which congregate by the hundreds in the clean, warm-water discharge canal that separates the center from Big Bend Power Station. And as the station produces safe, reliable power with a focus on environmental responsibility, the crowds that gather in its shadow to embrace environmental stewardship have more reason than ever to feel electric.”
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