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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Troubled waters for manatees?

Their dependence on warmth from power plants could prove disastrous
Published February 26, 2007

State and federal officials expect many of these aging power plants to close eventually. As the state's human population grows, more efficient power production requires newer facilities. A 95-year-old plant in Fort Pierce that once attracted as many as 49 manatees will close next year. Two plants in Brevard are each more than 40 years old, and their age has manatee advocates worried.

But manatees fare better at natural springs rather than artificial sites, Laist said. Blue Spring in Orange City and Kings Bay in Citrus County, where water bubbles from the ground at a constant 72 degrees, support two of the state's healthiest manatee groups.

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