If you are looking for a fun activity to do with the kids, your significant other or just by yourself, you have to stop by the Manatee Lagoon in Riviera Beach. Manatee Lagoon is an FPL Eco-Discovery Center and Palm Beach’s latest educational center, providing residents and tourists alike with the perfect vantage point to see these magnificent creatures.
Once a casual spot next to the local electric plant’s discharge waters, this center celebrating the manatee opened in 2016 at a spot where the peaceful creatures naturally congregate. The airy, two-story facility is surrounded by wraparound decks to accommodate sea-cow spotters from fall to spring. Educational, interactive displays tell the story of this once-endangered species. More than 150 giant manatees visit because of the warm waters put out by the nearby power plant.
Florida Power & Light, the main electric company for Palm Beach County, made this all possible as the warm waters that flow from the power plant have been a sanctuary for hundreds of manatees since the 1940’s. The power plant has worked with agencies such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to ensure the manatees safety.
The marine science center includes interactive touch screen displays, galleries, a pavilion and picnic area, meeting and classroom spaces, a café and gift shop. A great benefit of this project, besides the entertainment aspect, is that raising awareness about these animals will help ensure their survival for the long term.
Manatee Lagoon offers visitors engaging opportunities to learn about the endangered and unique Florida manatee and the Lake Worth Lagoon ecosystem it inhabits. Visitors can also understand the role power plants play in sustaining the species. The warm water outflows from the adjacent FPL Riviera Beach Next Generation Clean Energy Center attract hundreds of manatees each year, particularly during these cold winter months.
Photo Credit: https://www.facebook.com/ManateeLagoon/