Check out The Manatee Lagoon in West Palm Beach where guides will give you a walking tour of the Lagoon’s exhibits as well as provide insight into our local marinelife ecosystem. Tours can last anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.
Manatee Lagoon provides engaging opportunities to learn about the unique Florida manatee. The Lagoon’s exhibits offer insight into South Florida’s coastal ecosystem. On cold days, like the ones we’ve had recently, the Center is the ideal spot to view wild manatee herds basking in warm-water outflows from Florida Power & Light Company’s adjacent Riviera Beach Next Generation Clean Energy Center.
Admissions to the Manatee Lagoon are free, and it’s open Tuesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Manatee Lagoon is closed on Mondays.
Manatee Lagoon has two levels of interactive exhibits that you can visit to learn more about manatees and how they live their lives. Outside the Lagoon, there is a picnic area and pavilion, as well as a gift shop and café where you can purchase drinks and snacks.
Location: 6000 N Flagler Dr, West Palm Beach, FL 33407
All About Manatees
Here are some fun facts that you may not know about manatees.
- Manatees are gentle and slow-moving mammals. Most of their time is spent eating, resting, and traveling. Manatee is mostly herbivorous; however, small fish and invertebrates can sometimes be ingested along with a manatee’s normal vegetation diet. These herbivores munch on food for almost half the day, eating ten percent of their body weight, which can add up to well over 100lbs, in-plant mass every day. No wonder they’re called “sea cows!”
- Manatees live at the intersection of fresh and saltwater. They are able to maintain the correct balance in their bodies through an internal regulation system that works with the kidney to make sure salt concentrations never get too high.
- Manatees, like most Floridians, don’t like the cold: With low metabolic rates and minimal fat protection from cold water, they stick to water that is 60 degrees or warmer. They may look fat and insulated, but the large body of the manatee is mostly made up of their stomach and intestines!
- Manatees go to the surface of the water every three to five minutes to breathe although they can remain underwater longer, holding their breath for up to 20 minutes.
- Humans have one round of baby teeth and then if we lose or hurt an adult tooth, a trip to the dentist is in order. Manatees, like their elephant relatives, continuously replace their teeth throughout their lives with the older teeth at the front falling out and new teeth growing in at the back of their mouth.