February 5, 2016
You wouldn’t think that manatees and power plants go together. Manatees are gentle mammals, nicknamed “sea cows.” Herbivores, they chew on aquatic plants as they slowly float and paddle from one place to another.
Power plants are, well, power plants. Large industrial structures, they sport huge smokestacks spouting steam into the sky while warmer water is released into Tampa Bay. And yet, every winter when the nearby water temperatures hit 68 degrees F or lower, hundreds of manatees flood into that warmer water directly beneath the power plant.