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Manatee viewing near TECO's Big Bend power plant opens again for visitors on Nov. 1

Visitors on the boardwalk at the TECO Manatee Viewing Center
TECO
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Courtesy
The TECO Manatee Viewing Center has been open since the early 1970s and attracts nearly 400,000 visitors a year.

The TECO Manatee Viewing Center opens again to the public on Nov. 1.

Starting Nov. 1, visitors will be able to see manatees gather in the warmer waters at the Tampa Electric Manatee Viewing Center in Apollo Beach.

Each year, hundreds of manatees flock to the discharge canal of TECO's Big Bend power station when the water temperature in Tampa Bay is 68 degrees or colder.

The viewing center offers boardwalks and other areas where visitors can see the manatees up-close.

“We’re proud to be the showcase for Tampa Electric’s commitment to environmental stewardship,” Stan Kroh, TECO manager of land and stewardship programs, said in a news release. “The Manatee Viewing Center proves that you can have fun while learning about the natural treasures of Florida.”

The center will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. through April 15, except on Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. Admission is free.

The center has been open since the early 1970s and attracts nearly 400,000 visitors a year, according to the release.

A look at the observation tower
TECO
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Courtesy
The Manatee Viewing Center at Tampa Electric's Big Bend power play features a 50-foot observation tower, along with boardwalks that allow visitors to get up-close to the manatees.

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