Manatee viewing center open in Apollo Beach

- The Manatee Viewing Center at TECO's Big Bend Power Station in Apollo Beach has opened for the season. 

The viewing center opened November 1 and will stay open through April 15.

Each year, large numbers of manatees flock to the warmer waters of the discharge canal outside the power station. 

The discharge canal is now a designated manatee sanctuary that helps provide protection from the cold for the manatees. 

RELATED: Manatees, Sharks spotted in warm water near Manatee Viewing Center

Not only can visitors catch a glimpse of the manatees, but sharks and other sea life can be spotted in the water. 

MORE: Chilly manatees are hot stop for nature lovers

There is a boardwalk where visitors can watch the manatees, and also a tower. Admission and parking are both free, but the viewing station is closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.

For more information on hours, activities, and the webcam at the viewing center, head to their website: http://www.tampaelectric.com/company/mvc/

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