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The gentle giants of the bay..

January 19, 2016 , In: Culture , With: No Comments
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.. and much more are what you will find at the TECO Manatee Viewing Center in Apollo Beach, FL in southern Hillsborough county. The center is celebrating 30 years of  wildlife activism. Now I know what you are thinking, wildlife and utility companies usually don’t mix but they do here. Here is a small excerpt from their website explaining why the manatees are attracted to the power stationIMG_0026; “Big Bend Power Station in Apollo Beach delivered reliable electricity to the community for 16 years before the commercial operation of Big Bend Unit 4 in 1986. That year, people started seeing manatees in large numbers in the power station’s discharge canal, where saltwater – taken from Tampa Bay to cool Unit 4 – flowed, clean and warm, back to tIMG_00401he bay. When Tampa Bay reached 68 degrees or colder. the mammals would seek out this new refuge. The Manatee Viewing Center was soon born” Now the discharge canal is a state and federally designated manatee sanctuary that provides protection from the cold for these special animals. But not only can you see dozens manatees at this gorgeous park, you can also see their award winning butterfly garden or walk along their 900 foot walkway right into the Tampa Bay estuary. This is great place to get outside and learn about our incredible natural environment that is all around us in Tampa Bay.IMG_0053 They even have a nature walk through a gorgeous mangrove forest that leads to a 50 foot high observation tower which gives an excellent view of the surrounding bay. You can see so many types of marine life all over the grounds of the viewing center. Also at the park they have an educational center with different facts about wildlife in the area.  All of this sounds expensive to experience right? But it is completely free to the public. The park is open November 1st through April 15th, and in my opinion the best days to see the manatees is when it is a little colder out (I went this weekend and saw over 40 of them). So whether you want to take the kids out to learn more about the environment or you enjoy nature yourself the Manatee Viewing center is a great place to spend the day.

Please comment below about your experiences at The Manatee Viewing center!

 

The Raging Dramatist

Miguel Marin
Miguel is a lifetime Tampanian, he loves soaking up the sun and the fun of the beautiful Tampa Bay. In his spare time when not working as a Document Imaging Coordinator at GTE Financial; he is a community theatre director and performer. Miguel has been involved in theatre in the greater Tampa Bay area for the last 10 years. Some of his credits are; Schroeder in “You’re a good man charlie brown” with m.a.d theatre of tampa, Maurice in “Beauty and the Beast”, Oliver Warbucks in the musical “Annie” with the Bulls Players, and many others along with various directorial and technical credits as well. Miguel is the president of the Brandon High School Thespian Booster Club, and assists several high school theatre programs in the Tampa area. He also enjoys cooking, music, and spending time with his family and his fiancée Sarai. He is excited to be writing this blog about the incredible arts culture in the Tampa Bay area.
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Miguel Marin
Miguel is a lifetime Tampanian, he loves soaking up the sun and the fun of the beautiful Tampa Bay. In his spare time when not working as a Document Imaging Coordinator at GTE Financial; he is a community theatre director and performer. Miguel has been involved in theatre in the greater Tampa Bay area for the last 10 years. Some of his credits are; Schroeder in “You’re a good man charlie brown” with m.a.d theatre of tampa, Maurice in “Beauty and the Beast”, Oliver Warbucks in the musical “Annie” with the Bulls Players, and many others along with various directorial and technical credits as well. Miguel is the president of the Brandon High School Thespian Booster Club, and assists several high school theatre programs in the Tampa area. He also enjoys cooking, music, and spending time with his family and his fiancée Sarai. He is excited to be writing this blog about the incredible arts culture in the Tampa Bay area.