When the winter gets chilly, manatees that migrate and those that stay along the Treasure Coast all year congregate in and around the warm waters of spring-fed creeks, which stay between 58 and 72 degrees. Because they’re mammals, manatees also head to creeks and canals in search of fresh water to drink.
Manatees can be found during cold snaps at the following Indian River County locations:
The Vero Beach Municipal Power Plant at Indian River Boulevard and 17th Street. The power plant sucks in cold water to cool its turbines and discharges at a higher temperature. Manatees seek out the warm-water discharge zones.
Round Island County Park on State Road A1A just north of the St. Lucie County line on the barrier island.
The spillway of the C-54 canal from the manatee overlook on the north side of the canal in St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park (technically in Brevard County). The park has a small playground, a couple of picnic pavilions, and restrooms.