Hundreds of manatees swim into Blue Spring State Park as temperatures drop

Manatees seek warm spots across Central Florida

Officials plan to feed Florida manatees lettuce again this winter

ORANGE CITY, Fla. – The drop in temperatures means colder water, and more manatees coming to Blue Spring State Park seeking a warm spot.

According to the count Thursday morning by Save the Manatee Club, 395 manatees are now at the spring in Volusia County.

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The water at Blue Spring State Park is a constant 72, warmer than the St. Johns River nearby, which the manatee preservation group said measured at 64.4 Thursday.

Hundreds of manatees come to the spring when it’s cold for the warmer water. As the temperature continues to drop, more manatees are likely to pile in over the next few days.

Blue Spring State Park is not the only warm spot where manatees are congregating in Central Florida.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says it has reopened its temporary feeding station at the FPL plant in Cocoa as manatees move toward the plant’s warmer waters.

FWC and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service began feeding manatees earlier this year as part of efforts to keep the sea cows alive during the Unusual Mortality Event happening along the Atlantic coast, caused by the die-off of seagrass beds in the Indian River Lagoon.

Officials want to remind the public that they should not try to feed any manatees themselves.

If you see a sick, injured, orphaned or dead manatee, call the Wildlife Alert Hotline at 1-888-404-FWCC (3922).

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Christie joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021.