FPL’s Manatee Lagoon kicks off manatee season with tons of fun activities

Published: Nov. 13, 2022 at 10:45 AM EST
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It’s time to celebrate South Florida’s favorite marine mammal.

Manatee Lagoon, an FPL Eco-Discovery Center, is kicking off manatee season with a free family-friendly weekend celebration packed with tons of fun activities.

The event will take place Saturday, Nov. 19 and Sunday, Nov. 20, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Manatee Lagoon located at 5998 N Flagler Dr. in West Palm Beach.

This year's kick-off theme is "safe boating" to remind boaters of the importance of being mindful behind the wheel.

FPL says the first 400 visitors will receive a free waterproof phone pouch with information on how to report a manatee in distress if seen in the wild.

Visitors will be able to enjoy free face painting, frozen treats, cornhole and other games. Exhibitors, such as the U.S. Flotilla 52 Jupiter, Friends of Manatee Lagoon, Save the Manatee Club, Lake Worth Lagoon Waterkeepers and more.

On Sunday at 11 a.m., featured speaker and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) manatee biologist Amber Howell will present ways the public can help manatees.

“We hope visitors who come will enjoy themselves and also learn about what’s happening to manatees in the wild,” said Zack Greenberg, senior operations manager of Manatee Lagoon. “At Manatee Lagoon, our goal is to inspire people to preserve and protect Florida’s environment and wildlife for future generations. Manatees are an iconic part of our local ecosystem, and we do what we can to teach people how they can help.”

Manatee Lagoon welcomes visitors to explore and enjoy a variety of exhibits and programs this2022-23 manatee season, including:

  • "Lectures at the Lagoon" series: Visitors can enjoy presentations from marine educators, leaders and experts who will speak on a variety of topics, including conservation, local wildlife, boating safety and more. Attendees can register here.
  • New indoor exhibits: Manatee Lagoon's indoor facility is welcoming a handful of exciting new exhibits, including three new life-sized manatee statues in the lobby, a refreshed lionfish tank and artificial reef tank, as well as a new Florida mangroves exhibit.
  • In-person school group opportunities: As a field trip destination, Manatee Lagoon welcomes back school groups to help educate youth about manatees and the Lake Worth Lagoon. The 90-minute program options offer a look into the world of manatees and their local habitat. For select programs, Manatee Masters will speak on manatee biology and ecology, sharing details about the lagoon's estuarine habitat, and how students can help protect their local environment.
  • Public tours and outdoor seating: Daily at 2 p.m., Manatee Masters will continue to offer an outdoor talk from Manatee Lagoon's Adirondack seating section along the first-floor observation deck. Limited seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Outdoor yoga: Every Tuesday and Thursday at 5:45 p.m. and Saturday at 8 a.m., adult yoga classes are led by certified instructors against the calming backdrop of Lake Worth Lagoon. Participants are required to register in advance as space is limited, and the event is weather-dependent.

Florida’s manatee season runs from Nov. 15 to March 31, when manatees migrate to warmer waters.

FPL says the beloved mammals gather in the clean, warm-water outflows surrounding the FPL Riviera Beach Next Generation Clean Energy Center when the waters of Lake Worth Lagoon dip 68 degrees or colder.

For a live look at the manatees, check out the Manatee Cam.

To learn more about Manatee Lagoon's exciting events, click here.

Scripps Only Content 2022