News Release

Tampa Electric's Manatee Viewing Center Delays Opening for 2020 Season

TAMPA, October 16, 2020

To help protect the health and safety of visitors and the community, Tampa Electric will delay opening its award-winning Manatee Viewing Center this fall.

The center is tentatively scheduled to open Jan. 6, unless pandemic conditions warrant an additional delay.

“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.”

When the water temperature of Tampa Bay is 68 degrees or colder, manatees gather in the clean, warm water discharge canal of Tampa Electric’s Big Bend Power Station, sometimes by the hundreds. The manatees have gathered in the canal since the early 1970s.

While the center remains closed, manatees will continue to gather in the federal and state-protected sanctuary. Would-be visitors can still experience parts of the Manatee Viewing Center, too:
  •  The center’s new online store has debuted , thanks to a partnership with the University of Tampa and MacDonald Training Center.
  •  The center’s live web cameras will be operational beginning Nov. 1.
  •  Students and teachers should keep their eyes open for “virtual field trips,” which will be available in coming weeks.

Visit the Manatee Viewing Center online at www.tampaelectric.com/manatee for the most up-to-date information.

Tampa Electric, one of Florida’s largest investor-owned electric utilities, serves about 780,000 customers in West Central Florida. Tampa Electric is a subsidiary of Emera Inc., a geographically diverse energy and services company headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

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