We believe that the endangered Florida Manatee is one of Florida's most important natural resources and must be protected. For this reason, we have pledged to donate a portion of every sale to Manatee Conservation.
Florida manatees are found in shallow, slow-moving rivers, bays, estuaries and coastal water ecosystems of the southeastern United States. They can live in fresh, brackish, or salt water. Manatees prefer waters that are about one to two meters (3-7 feet) deep. Along the coast, manatees tend to travel in water that is about three to five meters (10-16 feet) deep, and they are rarely seen in areas over six meters (20 feet) deep. This habitat provides them with sheltered living and breeding areas, a steady, easily obtainable food supply and warm water—all of which they need to survive.
Manatees in the Wild
There are lots of places in Florida to observe manatees. In the winter when the weather is cooler, generally November through March, you might be able to see manatees in the wild, clustered around warm water sources.
Here are four areas that Save the Manatee Club recommends.
Florida's East Coast
Blue Spring State Park
2100 W. French Avenue
Orange City, Florida
Florida Power and Light Co.
Manatee Observation Center
Riviera Beach, Florida
Florida's West Coast
Tampa Electric Company - Manatee Viewing Center
(open November through April 15)
Apollo Beach, Florida
813-228-4289 for an information recording
Manatees in Captivity
If the weather is warmer, manatees are more widely dispersed. A few manatees may range as far north as Virginia and as far west as Texas during the summer months (one manatee was even documented in Rhode Island), but these sightings are rare. Summer sightings in Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina are relatively common.
From April through October, you will probably only be able to see manatees at captive facilities. Save the Manatee Club recommends the following.
Florida's West & East Coasts
Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park
Homosassa, Florida (75 miles north of Tampa)
Parker Manatee Aquarium - South Florida Museum