It’s officially manatee season! From November 15th until March 31st, manatees begin moving south for warmer waters as air and water temperatures drop.
When the weather is cold, a majority of manatees can be found gathering in the warm water outflows of Florida Power & Light’s Eco-Discovery Center, Manatee Lagoon.
Manatees are considered one of Florida’s most important marine species whose behavior can alert researchers to the environment and habitat changes that may otherwise go unnoticed in Florida’s waterways.
Aside from their environmental impact, manatees are beloved marine mammals because of their gentle demeanor, their friendly faces, and their tendency to “socialize” with humans. Also known as “sea cows” because they eat grass or “sea potatoes” because of their plump appearance, manatees are protected by no wake zones during season to protect them from being hit by boat propellers.
On a cold day, stop by Manatee Lagoon to experience the joy of viewing wild manatees huddle with each other for warmth. The center also has a gift shop, and many different events and programs, as well as a manatee cam.
Manatee Lagoon is located at 6000 N. Flagler Drive in West Palm Beach, and is open 9AM-4PM Tuesday-Sunday.