The chilly temperatures of the season traditionally herald the start of manatee viewing season at Florida Power & Light Company's Riviera power plant. The manatees, which seek a temporary warm-water haven, gather near the plant's discharge when the temperatures dip below 68 degrees Fahrenheit.
For nearly 50 years the plant has provided a safe winter haven for Florida manatees. Each year, FPL offers Palm Beach area residents and visitors an opportunity to view these endangered species.
The viewing area, located on the south side of the plant, is open January 2 - February 28. Visitors are welcome from 8 a.m. - 3 p.m. seven days a week. To get to the viewing area, take I-95 to 45th Street. Go east on 45th Street all the way until it ends at North Flagler Drive. Turn left on North Flagler Drive and go north approximately 15 blocks to FPL's Manatee Viewing Area entrance. Reservations are not necessary, but visitors are reminded that it takes a cold snap to interest the manatees in visiting the power plant.
"The viewing area at the power plant offers visitors an opportunity to see the manatees from a unique and natural perspective," said Winifred Perkins, Manager of Environmental Relations at FPL. The area adjacent to FPL's Riviera plant has been designated a "manatee protection zone" and is marked by buoys to prohibit boat traffic where manatees gather.
Visitors entering the manatee viewing area will be treated to a mural showing the many initiatives that make up FPL's environmental commitment. A mural honoring manatees has been extended to include artist renderings of other plant and animal species native to Florida. Panels showcase large renderings of the loggerhead sea turtle and a reference to FPL's involvement in sea turtle conservation at the St. Lucie power plant. The American Crocodile, which makes its home in the cooling canals at the Turkey Point power plant, is also featured.
"The mural represents a creative way to tell visitors to the Riviera plant about FPL's environmental outreach efforts throughout our service territory," said Bill Brannen, of FPL.
Florida Power & Light is the principal subsidiary of FPL Group, Inc. , one of the nation's largest providers of electricity-related services with annual revenues of more than $6 billion. The company serves 3.8 million customer accounts in Florida. FPL Energy, LLC., FPL Group's U.S. and international energy generating subsidiary, is a leader in producing electricity from clean and renewable fuels. Information is available on the Internet at www.fplgroup.com and www.fpl.com.
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SOURCE: Florida Power & Light Company