Cold weather lures huge number of manatees to Tampa Electric’s manatee viewing center
TAMPA, January 25, 2003
Tampa Bay area residents looking to add to an already exciting weekend can see an unusually massive gathering of manatees at Tampa Electric’s Manatee Viewing Center, located next to Big Bend Power Station. The manatees, drawn to the warm water of the station’s runoff canal, are showing up by the dozens thanks to the current cold snap.
“There are noses everywhere sticking out of the water,” said Jamie Woodlee, environmental technician at the Manatee Viewing Center. “This is usually the best time of year to come down and see the manatees anyway, but with the weather even colder than usual right now, it’s bringing an even larger number of manatees into the canal.”
Manatees generally swim into the canal when the Bay water temperature is 68 degrees or cooler. The Manatee Viewing Center offers comforting warmth for the manatees while giving visitors a chance to see the gentle creatures up close.
The Center is free for the public and also features a 900-foot tidal flat walkway, a vibrant collection of native plants and a large assortment of bird life. It’s open daily, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., through April 30, 2003. Parking is free as well, and anyone looking for more information can call (813) 228-4289 or log on to tampaelectric.com and click on the Environmental link on the left side of the page.
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.