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Come See the Manatees!

Sea cows. Herbivores of the ocean. There are lots of ways to describe Florida manatees, but we’re just happy to have them around.


Manatee Appreciation Day is the last Wednesday in March, but that’s not the only time for us to show you why we’re mad about manatees and how you can help us protect them.

Fun fact: Manatees are big (up to 1,000 pounds), but they don’t have much blubber, which means they’re not big fans of the cold. When it’s warm out, they’ll float around coastal Gulf waters and in the back bay. When the temperature dips below 68°F or so, they head inland to warmer rivers and canals.

Between January and March, Manatee Park in Fort Myers is one of the best places to see manatees bobbing around their natural habitat. Consistently warm water flows from nearby Florida Power and Light Power Station into the Orange River, which connects to the Caloosahatchee River and provides a comfortable habitat during cooler months. Take a look at our live webcam to see if you can spot any manatees at Manatee Park. 

Within the park, you can find educational displays and learn interesting facts about these coastal creatures. For one thing, they must come up to breathe every 3 to 5 minutes, so you’ll see them popping up regularly. Even with their powerful paddle-shaped tails, manatees are slow moving. Since they don’t have natural predators, they’re curious creatures. If you’re out on the water, there’s a good chance they’ll come right up to you — but don’t touch or feed them. Keep your distance and enjoy the view! We promise you’ll fall in love.

Manatee sighting in water

Be sure to listen to the Shellcast podcast to learn why Manatee Park is such a prime place for manatee viewing.