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News Release

Tampa Electric Manatee Viewing Center open for 18th year

TAMPA, December 17, 2003

Tampa Electric’s Manatee Viewing Center is now open for its 18th season of providing a safe haven for the nomadic marine mammals - and a fascinating, fun, free adventure for people.

Manatees return each year, drawn to the comfort and safety of the Big Bend Power Station warm water discharge canal. Cold weather motivates the endangered Florida manatee to seek the protection of the canal's warm water. When Gulf or bay water temperatures drop below 68 degrees it can be life threatening to the gentle giants. So as the temperature drops the warm water canal will fill with a lively throng of the charming creatures.

Located near the Big Bend power plant in Apollo Beach, the Manatee Viewing Center will remain open daily through April 15, 2004. Manatee Viewing Center visitors can get a close-up look at the endangered Florida manatee, a subspecies of the West Indian manatee, from an observation pier and platform.

In addition, a self-guided nature trail and tidal flat walkway allows visitors to see native Florida birds, fish and other wildlife in their natural habitats, "Florida Friendly" landscape design and butterfly gardens.

Tampa Electric Company is the principal subsidiary of TECO Energy, Inc. (NYSE:TE), a diversified holding company of energy-related businesses that include Peoples Gas System, TECO Power Services, TECO Transport, TECO Coal and TECO Solutions.

Media Contact
For journalist inquiries only:

TECO Energy, Tampa Electric, Peoples Gas
TECO Energy, Inc.
702 N. Franklin Street
Tampa, Florida 33602
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