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Tampa Electric’s Manatee Viewing Center closed until fall 2021

The utility cited concerns over the coronavirus as the driving reason.

APOLLO BEACH — Tampa Electric Co. will not open its Manatee Viewing Center this year, citing concerns about the coronavirus.

“As with so many of the changes we’ve seen this year, we know keeping the Manatee Viewing Center closed this season is a disappointment,” said Stan Kroh, manager of land and stewardship programs for the utility, who said “safety is our top priority.”

The center allows the public to visit manatees that gather in the warm water in the discharge canal outside of Big Bend Power Station, where they gather when the temperature drops below 69 degrees.

Would-be visitors can now view the manatees virtually at tampaelectric.com/manatee and choose “virtual visit.” The center is scheduled to reopen Nov. 1, 2021.

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