Manatee Viewing Center

The Manatee Viewing Center at Big Bend Power Station in Apollo Beach was born in the year 1986 when people began to notice a plethora of manatees seeking a warm asylum in the power station’s discharge channel when the weather began getting cooler. The power channel served to take saltwater from Tampa Bay and move to unit 4 to clean and then send that warm water back to the bay. Today, Big Bend's discharge canal is a state and federally designated manatee sanctuary that provides essential key refuge from the cold for these distinct, benevolent and tender mammals.

Inside the MVC's environmental education building, colorful presentations plunge you head on into the world of the manatee and its habitat. Others show how Big Bend Power Station produces electricity for the community in an environmentally conscious and accountable way. Be sure to see the power station's beneficially reusable byproducts. Investigate and study real bones of manatees and piece together puzzles. And before feeling the blast of a hurricane in the center's simulator, find out more about hurricanes and how Tampa Electric prepares for and responds to major storms.

Be sure to enjoy this free venue, it's a must see in the Tampa area. Open only Nov. 1 through April 15 (closed Thanksgiving, at 3 p.m. Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and Easter). 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily

Details & Events

Local street map. Click "+" or "-" to zoom in and out. Click on map to drag and position the view.

  • Manatee Viewing Center
  • 6990 Dickman Rd
  • Apollo Beach, FL 33572
  • (813) 228-4289
  • Directions
  • Web site

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