RIVIERA BEACH, Fla., Nov. 16, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- As seasonal temperatures drop and boat speed zone markers start to populate waterways in Palm Beach County, locals know that manatee migrations have begun. Manatee Lagoon – An FPL Eco-Discovery Center™ wants visitors to know that the facility will showcase a slew of new features just in time for manatee season, Nov. 15 through March 31.
Tens of thousands of two-legged visitors and hundreds of whiskered-and-flippered patrons have frequented the facility since its grand opening in February 2016. Since that time, Manatee Lagoon's educational programming and outreach has earned it a conservation certification from the prestigious Wildlife Habitat Council for its awareness and community engagement efforts. The conservation certification recognizes meaningful wildlife habitat management and conservation programs. It helps companies demonstrate a long-term commitment to managing quality habitat for wildlife, conservation education and community outreach activities.
"Manatee Lagoon provides learning opportunities for visitors and residents alike to better understand and protect manatees and the ecosystems they inhabit," said Pamela Rauch, vice president, external affairs and economic development for Florida Power & Light Company. "We at FPL have an important role to play in educating audiences about how our power plants benefit this endangered animal and Florida's constantly evolving ecological landscape."
One example of commendable conservation engagement was this year's first-ever Manatee Lagoon underwater clean-up of the Lake Worth Lagoon with Sea 2 Shore Alliance. Manatee Lagoon's certified divers completed a clean sweep of parts of the neighboring Lake Worth estuary, removing boating debris, garbage, fishing line and other refuse that could potentially harm manatees or other marine life.
Wildlife officials encourage those who enjoy our waterways to watch out for manatees swimming in Florida's rivers, bays or coastal waters. For those who keep their eyes on the waterways this time of year to check out manatees, many have grown used to Manatee Lagoon's manatee cam. The manatee cam will be back in action on Nov. 15 trained on the outflow area of FPL's Riviera Beach Next Generation Energy Center adjacent to Manatee Lagoon. The cam is a great way to check out manatee activity as manatees tend to frequent the warm water in the outflow area to help them survive winter's cold.
New this year, returning guests will now have options to snack from a seasonal menu in the facility's café. Adults and children alike can explore the wonders of the neighboring Lake Worth Lagoon ecosystem and nearby reefs by examining a fish tank that replicates the brackish environment of the Lagoon as well as nearby marine offshore coral reef systems.
And last, but not least, manatee enthusiasts can pay a visit to Manatee Lagoon's Facebook page to check out the details of the "Spot-the-Manatee" contest to secure a chance to win a gift certificate in the Manatee Lagoon gift shop.
About Manatee Lagoon – An FPL Eco-Discovery Center™ Manatee Lagoon – An FPL Eco-Discovery Center™ offers visitors engaging opportunities to learn about the endangered and unique Florida manatee and the Lake Worth Lagoon ecosystem it inhabits. The center hosts field trips for science programs, offering site-based enrichment and educational activities. Visitors will 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 during cold winter months. The waterfront facility provides opportunities for the public to learn more about these marine mammals and what is needed to protect their environment. The 16,000-sq.-ft. center offers free admission, two levels of exhibit and meeting space, a boardwalk to observe manatees in the Lagoon, picnic area, pavilion and gift shop. Manatee Lagoon hosts field trips and myriad educational and recreational activities from yoga and art classes to a Junior Aqua Lab and an environmental lecture series. For more information, go to: VisitManateeLagoon.com.
Florida Power & Light Company Florida Power & Light Company is the third-largest electric utility in the United States, serving more than 4.8 million customer accounts or more than 10 million people across nearly half of the state of Florida. FPL's typical 1,000-kWh residential customer bill is approximately 30 percent lower than the latest national average and, in 2015, was the lowest in Florida among reporting utilities for the sixth year in a row. FPL's service reliability is better than 99.98 percent, and its highly fuel-efficient power plant fleet is one of the cleanest among all utilities nationwide. The company received the top ranking in the southern U.S. among large electric providers, according to the J.D. Power 2016 Electric Utility Residential Customer Satisfaction StudySM, and was recognized in 2016 as one of the most trusted U.S. electric utilities by Market Strategies International. A leading Florida employer with approximately 8,800 employees, FPL is a subsidiary of Juno Beach, Fla.-based NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NEE), a clean energy company widely recognized for its efforts in sustainability, ethics and diversity, and has been ranked No. 1 in the electric and gas utilities industry in Fortune's 2016 list of "World's Most Admired Companies." NextEra Energy is also the parent company of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, which, together with its affiliated entities, is the world's largest generator of renewable energy from the wind and sun. For more information about NextEra Energy companies, visit these websites: www.NextEraEnergy.com, www.FPL.com, www.NextEraEnergyResources.com.