Charley at the Manatee Viewing Center

Charley headed to Apollo Beach Wednesday morning to check out the new additions to the Manatee Viewing Center. 

The Manatee Viewing Center was formally the Big Bend Power Plant. After the plant shut down in the 80s, people started seeing manatees in large numbers in the warm waters of the power station's discharge canal.  

Now, the discharge canal is a state and federally designated manatee sanctuary that provides critical protection from the cold for Tampa Bay's manatees.

The Manatee Viewing Center is celebrating its 30th anniversary season this year, and with it they are also celebrating some new additions.

The center is the winter home to the stingrays who live in the outfield at Tropicana Field during baseball season. Now, guests can get hands-on experience with the rays in the center's touch tank. 

The Manatee Viewing Center is open November 1 through April 15, 2017. 

Visit to learn more about the Manatee Viewing Center and plan your trip.