Manatee Lagoon Discovery Center, FPL’s brand new eco-discovery center opening Feb. 6 at 9 a.m. and admission and parking are absolutely free. Adjacent to FPL’s Riviera Beach Next Generation Clean Energy Center where, every winter hundreds of manatees gather during cold snaps enjoying the plant’s warm 97 degrees water.
Located at 6000 North Flagler Drive in West Palm Beach, the 16,000 square foot, Key West style 2-story facility overlooks the Intracoastal Waterway. President and CEO Jorge Pesquera with Discover the Palm Beaches said “very few communities in the state of Florida will have a facility of this magnitude.”
The Manatee Lagoon Discovery Center will feature two levels of exhibits for both adults and children, observation deck, meeting space, a boardwalk, picnic area, a pavilion, outdoor concession stand and gift shop. The facility will provide both residents and visitors with ways to learn about the gentle giants and how to protect them. With interactive exhibits and live manatee webcam, the public can also view manatees up close if the weather is consistently cold enough. If planning a visit, check out their webcam to see if manatees are present. The center will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays.
Manatee viewing at the new facility will be best when conditions are just right – sustained cold water temperatures over several days resulting in water thermometer readings of 68 degrees or less. For many years now, visitors would come during cold weather to watch the manatees near the FPL plant but really had no real access. With the opening of this new Manatee Lagoon, it will certainly be one of the top attractions in Palm Beach County.
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