And the timing couldn’t be much better. A cold front is expected to drop temperatures in Palm Beach County into the high 60s Saturday morning, and into the low 40s Sunday, the National Weather Service says.
During cool weather, manatees tend to flock to the warm water flowing from FPL’s Riviera Beach power plant next to the Manatee Lagoon center, making this weekend a good opportunity to spot some sea cows.
The $4.8 million facility also offers a boardwalk, a manatee cam, a pavilion, a gift shop and educational exhibits.
Manatee Lagoon, Florida Power & Light’s new eco-discovery center, is slated to open at 9 a.m. on Saturday Feb. 6. Admission is free.
The center is adjacent to FPL’s Riviera Beach Next Generation Clean Energy Center, where hundreds of manatees have gathered during cold snaps each year near the plant’s warm water outflows.
The 16,000-square-foot $4.832 million facility at 6000 N. Flagler Drive, West Palm Beach overlooks the Intracoastal Waterway. It includes two levels of exhibit and meeting space, a boardwalk, picnic area, a pavilion, cafe and gift shop.
Manatee Lagoon is designed to provide visitors with opportunities to learn about the marine mammals and what is needed to protect them. There’s also an area to view manatees up close if consistent cold temperatures produce the right conditions.
The center will be open from 9 am. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays. It will be closed on Mondays.
It is scheduled to shut down in the spring and reopen in November 2016, when it will remain open year-round.