FPL’s Manatee Lagoon Hosts First-Ever Hybrid ManateeFest Celebrationwith Free Family Fun, In-Person and Online

Exciting in-person festival and virtual activities invite all ages to learn about and show appreciation for Florida manatees

Boca Raton, FL — Manatee Lagoon – An FPL Eco-Discovery Center® is hosting its 6th annual ManateeFest – a first-ever hybrid event on Saturday, March 26 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Online and in-person ManateeFest 2022 attendees will enjoy free, family-friendly activities that celebrate Florida’s iconic manatees and local waterways. For the first time ever, a ManateeFest mobile event app will enhance the festival experience for in-person visitors and provide virtual attendees with a unique way to be part of the action.

“Our first-ever hybrid ManateeFest and our new ManateeFest app will bring together guests from all walks of life – in person and online – to immerse themselves in the wonders of the Florida manatee and its habitat,” said Pam Rauch, vice president of external affairs and economic development for Florida Power & Light Company (FPL). “FPL is committed to environmental stewardship and helping to protect Florida’s wildlife. We hope ManateeFest 2022 will play a key role in raising awareness of these beloved creatures and ways we can all help them.”

During the event, guests can visit the Conservation Pledge Station and make a pledge to help protect manatees and their habitat. Guests are also welcome to interact with environmental exhibitors, help Mia the Manatee complete her conservation challenge by participating in a new game called “Mia’s Mission,” and listen to conservation presentations throughout the day. One notable speaker will be Jessica Harvey, co-chair of the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, giving a Coastal Chat presentation of “Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation’s Education and Conservation Initiative.”

ManateeFest 2022 in-person activities at Manatee Lagoon feature something for everyone:

  • Family Fun for All Ages: Young manatee enthusiasts can enjoy a KidsFunZone, with activities such as a Coastal Cleanup and Recycling Relay Race and the ever-popular free sea-life themed face painting. A new Mascot Zone with Mia the Manatee offers fun “info-tainment” for children, such as a giant coloring book for Mia, games of beach ball tossing and a sidewalk chalk station. Educational Coastal Chats, environmental exhibitors and arts & craft vendors round out a full festival experience.
  • Local Shops & Eats: Visitors can peruse and support various local small businesses and grab a bite from a delicious variety of food purveyors along the way.
  • ManateeFest’s Relaxation Stations & Live Music: Guests can find moments of serenity during the festival fun in these special spots. Visitors can enjoy the tropical ambiance, comfortable Adirondack chair seating, picturesque views of the Lake Worth Lagoon and live steel drum music performances. Attendees are encouraged to look for the large, clear tents designating the three spots: The Main Stage Relaxation Station (closest to the Main Stage), the Lagoon Relaxation Station (southernmost waterfront tent featuring food options) and the Coastal Relaxation Station (northernmost waterfront tent featuring wine and spirits).

In line with Manatee Lagoon’s commitment to conservation, guests can download and access the ManateeFest 2022 mobile event app. This app supports Manatee Lagoon’s environmental mission by reducing the need for paper materials at the festival. It serves as a one-stop-shop for all ManateeFest needs by including an event schedule, festival map, virtual educational content, the virtual event gift store, the full plethora of food and beverage vendors and more.

“Our new ManateeFest 2022 app is easy to use, and it will seamlessly guide thousands of expected guests through our expansive campus,” continued Rauch. “At FPL, we use technology to solve problems in a better and faster way, plus the paperless digital aspect helps save trees.”

For those who can’t make the festival in person, the virtual ManateeFest event features a variety of fun activities to join the fun, including:

  • Virtual visitors can make a conservation pledge to protect manatees, then snap a photo in an interactive virtual photo booth with the option of adding fun digital stickers. Guests can consider sharing that photo to become part of an overall event “mosaic” collage, which will be shared on social media and at Manatee Lagoon.
  • Virtual visitors can also check out (and shop at!) a variety of local small businesses within the online storefront, download five educational marine-themed coloring sheets, participate in an virtual scavenger hunt and enjoy much more at www.VisitManateeLagoon.com/ManateeFest and in the event app.

ManateeFest also marks the launch of Renewall, FPL’s new community for clean energy enthusiasts across Florida. Created to inspire and mobilize, Renewall stems from the values and ideals that participants in FPL’s clean energy programs represent and speaks to individual responsibility to take action for the future of the planet. Beginning with participants in FPL’s popular programs like FPL SolarNowTM, FPL SolarTogetherTM and FPL EVolutionTM, Renewall will bring clean energy enthusiasts together for sponsored community events and provide ways to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability through branded clothing, accessories and more. To learn more about Renewall, guests can visit the Renewall Mobile Experience at ManateeFest.

Manatee Lagoon is a popular community destination and an ideal place for visitors to learn about the charismatic – yet challenged – Florida manatee. This manatee season, Manatee Lagoon now offers new educational exhibits, virtual self-guided tour options, new outdoor interactive programming, enhanced outdoor walking pathways and much more. To further strengthen manatee rehabilitation efforts, FPL recently announced it is allocating more than $700,000 over the next three years through its charitable arm, the NextEra Energy Foundation and Manatee Lagoon as part of the company’s comprehensive response to the ongoing Florida manatee Unusual Mortality Event (UME).

To stay informed and learn more about ManateeFest, please visit www.VisitManateeLagoon.com/ManateeFest and download the ManateeFest 2022 app.

About Manatee Lagoon – An FPL Eco-Discovery Center®

Manatee Lagoon – An FPL Eco-Discovery Center® is a free Palm Beach County educational attraction with a dedicated area to view manatees up close. The 16,000-square-foot center features engaging, hands-on exhibits for visitors to learn all about the unique creatures as well as the natural wonders of the surrounding Lake Worth Lagoon. During the colder winter months, the facility’s observation deck is the ideal spot to view manatees basking in the clean, warm-water outflows from Florida Power & Light Company’s adjacent Riviera Beach Next Generation Clean Energy Center. Manatee Lagoon also offers digital resources and educational virtual content for manatee fans near and far on its website: VisitManateeLagoon.com.

The center is open seven days a week, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except for major holidays, until March 31, 2022, which marks the end of manatee season. April 1 through Nov. 14, 2022, the center will observe the same hours, with the exception of Mondays when the center will be closed.

About Florida Power & Light Company   

Florida Power & Light Company is the largest vertically integrated rate-regulated electric utility in the U.S. as measured by retail electricity produced and sold. The company serves more than 5.7 million customer accounts supporting more than 11 million residents across Florida with clean, reliable and affordable electricity. FPL operates one of the cleanest power generation fleets in the U.S and in 2021 won the ReliabilityOne® National Reliability Excellence Award for the sixth time in the last seven years. The company received the top ranking in the southern U.S. among large electric providers, according to J.D. Power’s 2021 Electric Utility Residential Customer Satisfaction StudySM and 2021 Electric Utility Business Customer Satisfaction StudySM. The company was also recognized in 2020 as one of the most trusted U.S. electric utilities by Escalent for the seventh consecutive year. FPL is a subsidiary of Juno Beach, Florida-based NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NEE), a clean energy company widely recognized for its efforts in sustainability, corporate responsibility, ethics and compliance, and diversity.  NextEra Energy is ranked No. 1 in the electric and gas utilities industry in Fortune’s 2022 list of “World’s Most Admired Companies” and recognized on Fortune’s 2021 list of companies that “Change the World.” NextEra Energy is also the parent company of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, which, together with its affiliated entities, is the world’s largest generator of renewable energy from the wind and sun and a world leader in battery storage. For more information about NextEra Energy companies, visit these websites: www.NextEraEnergy.comwww.FPL.comwww.NextEraEnergyResources.com.  


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