News & Updates


Power plants to keep Fla. manatees warm

The Associated Press

They winter in Florida to take advantage of the warm waters. But experts say it’s still not warm enough for the manatees.

That’s why Florida Power & Light Co. is installing an electric heating system that will pump out warm water just to keep them toasty.

FPL will convert at 43-year-old plant in St. John into a $1 billion natural gas plant. It’s scheduled to go online in 2013.

Before power plants, manatees usually stayed south of Sebastian in the warmest waters. On the coldest winter days, more than 600 manatees huddle at plants along the Indian River. Without their warmth, temperature can drop into the 50s in the winter, weakening manatees’ immune systems.

The discharges warm the lagoon 8 to 13 degrees. The county commission will vote this week.