TECO Manatee Viewing Center in Tampa

The Tampa Manatee Viewing Center is one of the best places to see manatees in Florida.

The manatee center is located at the Big Bend Power Plant, also known as the TECO Power Plant, in Apollo Beach, Florida.

During cold weather, the TECO power plant attracts countless manatees, and many other forms of wildlife.

Wildlife is attracted to the pool of warm water, which is discharged from the power plant’s water cooling system.

The power plant is essential to Tampa’s manatee population because they need a source of warm water to survive during Florida’s winter months.

Although they often look chubby, manatees have very low amounts of body fat, and are not able to warm themselves in cold water.

When Florida’s water temperatures drop below approximately 68 degrees fahrenheit manatees must seek safety in a warm water refuge.

Without warm water manatees can be injured, or even die from a condition known as “Cold stress”. Historically manatees sought refuge in natural warm water sources like Florida’s springs.

Sadly, access to many natural warm water refuges have been cut off due to human interference, dams, waterfront real estate development and other environmental destruction.


The TECO manatee center is located at 6990 Dickman Rd, Apollo Beach, FL 33572

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