TECO Manatee Viewing Center celebrates incredible milestone

TECO's award-winning Manatee Viewing Center will welcome its 6 millionth visitor this weekend.

“For decades, visitors have flocked to the Manatee Viewing Center to enjoy these natural treasures of Florida,” said Stan Kroh, manager of land and stewardship programs for Tampa Electric. “We’re proud to be such a coveted destination and a showcase for Tampa Electric’s commitment to environmental stewardship.”

When the water temperature of Tampa Bay is 68 degrees or colder, manatees gather in the clean, warm-water discharge canal of Tampa Electric’s Big Bend Power Station in Apollo Beach, sometimes by the hundreds.

Manatee lovers can see the mammals up close from multiple boardwalks and vantage points. Each season, the 50-acre Manatee Viewing Center draws nearly 400,000 visitors. 

Visitors also can enjoy meeting the rays, critical animals that rely on a healthy Tampa Bay ecosystem, and even touch them gently as they glide past in the touch-tank. Guests also can hike the nature trail and take in the vistas from the 50-foot observation tower.

The Manatee Viewing Center’s regular hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day from Nov. 1 through April 15, except Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. Comfortable shoes and clothing are recommended.

Admission is free.

LINK: For more information please visit: www.tampaelectric.com/manatee or call 813-228-4289