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Thousands turn out for manatee festival | Environment

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Thousands turn out for manatee festival
Environment, Events
Thousands turn out for manatee festival

Apollo Beach, FL -- This weekend, the Manatee Viewing Center at Tampa Electric's Big Bend Power Station celebrated its 25th anniversary of keeping the gentle sea cows comfortable during cold weather in the warm water discharge of the power plant. 

The center boasted between 15,000 and 20,000 visitors yesterday, and expected the same size crowd today.

Since it opened, three million people have visited the viewing center. 

The celebration included activities for visitors of all ages, including arts and crafts tables, children's games, Radio Disney, giveaways, appearances by local professional sports mascots and more.

When the water temperature drops to 68 degrees and colder, the manatees flock to the canal next to the power plant. 

A record 767 manatees died in 2010, with as many as 500 of the deaths being caused by the stress of last winter's cold weather, and the cold spell we had in December 2010. 

The viewing station is open now until April 15 from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

For more information you can visit the Manatee Viewing Center online or call (813)228-4289.

Environment, Events

Manatee County Businesses