Why Do Manatees Die When Power Plants Shut Down?

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While the Florida manatee is threatened by human activity in a myriad of ways, perhaps the most surprising among those threats is the closing of aging power plants.

Hosted by: Michael Aranda

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Sources:
https://academic.oup.com/jmammal/article/93/6/1504/912796
https://www.mmc.gov/wp-content/uploads/floridamanatees.pdf
https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/11016985.pdf
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6871784/
https://www.mmc.gov/wp-content/uploads/powerplants1.pdf
https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0058978 />
Image Sources:
https://www.istockphoto.com/photo/manatee-sea-cow-gm183859426-15983777
https://www.storyblocks.com/video/stock/close-up-of-florida-manatee-underwater-slow-motion-btdrdk0znvjvgvw50z
https://www.istockphoto.com/photo/manatee-portrait-gm138186819-8646269
https://www.istockphoto.com/photo/manatee-in-the-crystal-river-gm944691880-258052801
https://www.istockphoto.com/photo/flordia-springs-gm1165177603-320516790
https://www.istockphoto.com/photo/two-cooling-towers-and-smokestack-at-coastal-powerplant-with-steam-rising-from-one-gm1254855559-366924462
https://www.istockphoto.com/photo/florida-manatee-gm640026820-115702663
https://www.storyblocks.com/video/stock/aerial-drone-shot-of-swimming-with-endangered-florida-manatees-hk76ptawnejvgvvyta
https://www.istockphoto.com/photo/peaceful-manatee-gm1297683258-390754305
https://www.storyblocks.com/video/stock/aerial-drone-shot-of-crystal-springs-river-florida-manatees-htvdx5rbhejvgvyxep

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Comment (546)

  1. I recently took a week-long trip to Florida with my extended family. We stayed at a three-story mansion that cost thousands of dollars per night. We went to so many amazing places and did so many cool things. But the last thing I did was swim with manatees and it was the highlight of my trip. They’re so gentle, sweet, and so ugly they’re cute. Even alligators stop and let manatees cross when they encounter each other. Manatees don’t deserve to live in a world with such cruel creatures as us humans. We’ve already eradicated the Stellar’s sea cow. But there’s still hope for these sea potatoes.

  2. 3:44 geothermal pumps would be ideal here, if a plant can be found close enough to an already drilled hole. I'll spare you the rabbit hole I went down, but the upshot is discharged oil wells could produce discharged powerplant temperature. the only issues are that the holes are filled with chemicals that we don't want in the environment, so a well sealed heat exchanger would be ideal, and the holes are plugged with cement (so while the drilling costs would be lower, they wouldn't be zero). but adding in a wind or solar powered pump could provide the cows with all the warm water they'd need with a relatively small up front and maintenance costs. so long as a suitable well could be located near by.

    as an aside natural gas is deeper and hotter, best off serving another purpose.

  3. Some alligators will stop in the river when they see a manatee gently grazing and minding its own business. It’s such a shame that alligators treat these amazing animals better than we do.

  4. You mean environmental protections are killing things too? Could it be that human impact is neutral?
    You notice nobody ever talks about human impacts in a positive way. Even though it happens a ton too.
    But even if what humans do is negative to some species, then what are people supposed to do? Starve to death? Be subject to environmental pressures to the economy where they starve to death?
    "We've got too many humans already, they should die!" You may say, but what about if that's your significant other and your kids? Your father, mother, sisters or brothers? Your friends?
    Environmentalist mentality is a hypocritical mentality. They want other people to die, just not "their people".
    Environmentalists would happily see "other people" starve to death to keep "natural" habitats, just not "their people".
    But those habitats wouldn't be "natural" habitats, they'd be artifical habitats.
    Eventually any logical human has to face this one simple fact: every single thing humans do is natural, except for safrificing their own species to improve the habitats of other species.
    Every species has an impact, but humans are the only ones willing to sacrifice their own to their own detriment, and not all humans are willing to do that, only "environmentalists" are. And that's the only thing that's "non-natural", because no other species does this.

  5. The solution is to let new power plants discharge warm water just like the old ones did! A law is killing these manatees. Repeal it. That simple. Why isn't this even mentioned as one of the possible solutions?

  6. Just imagine if we decided to remove a food source from a species in order to "help it survive", would you be okay with that?
    In this case though, they're not taking about removing food. They're talking about removing ocean areas where they don't freeze to death to "help them".

  7. Localized warm water at a power plant should not be considered a problem and it is definitely not pollution. I hate the insane pseudoscience that the schools teach our kids.

  8. There's an actual manatee viewing center located at the Apollo Beach power plant just outside Tampa. It's one of several locations here in the area which sees manatees winter in the artificially warmed waters.

  9. If manatees aren't smart enough to explore for warm places unless human intervention forces them to then I think it's time to consider them prematurely functionally extinct.

  10. Could we not actually just build a greenhouse over their hanging spot and turn the powerplant land as a natural reserve. The greenhouse would require no power at all and would artificially raise the temperature even in winter. Giving them a warm humid spot to chill at. An artificial lake could ensure water flow to keep the water clean and you could reclame some swamp land and lower the impact of rising sea for the area.

  11. Just switch the power plants off (if they are being deactivated). It is likely that the warm waste water is artificially maintaining a larger population of manatees than naturally possible. Turning them off would result in a drop in numbers but the population should stabilise to a number that can be naturally sustained through the natural warm sources or winter migration.

  12. Crowdfund the solutions to problems our government and Exxon made! While still paying taxes to the government which subsidizes big oil.

    Screw you scishow. Traitors and cowards

  13. Dying of "cold" because of global "warming"? Nato country members still keep looking for forever-wars that cant be solved because that would defeat the purpose. Terrorism, Climate Change, the Flue…etc. You don't scientists here, you need a psychoanalyst!

  14. If you wish to help manatees, please don't support nestle. They are sucking the springs dry. Please look up the issue, and the myriad of brands which they own, so that you don't end up paying for the devastation of one of the wonders of rhe earth.

  15. A series of new aquariums along the coast, with their own warm water manatee habitats is sure to be a good tourist attraction, teach people, and help care for the manatees too

  16. Protecting Rainforrest doesnt help squat for Climate Change. Rainforrest uses up all the Oxygen they create themselves. It does help vs ecology-loss thou.
    But cutting down raindforrest prob lead to higher living-standard at the population which usually lead to more energy-effectiveness, which leads to lower Co2 output.

  17. I saw one in Baltimore MD (over 1k miles from Florida)in the brackish water of the of the Patapsco River/Chesapeake Bay while I was working at a marina. Having only seen them on TV I had no idea what an enormous animal it really is.

  18. The sun is the only factor in earth's climate. PERIOD. The ice age's, hot spell's in the past, were all part of the repeated cycles here. There is no such "man made climate change" that is a "grow the government" sale's pitch…

  19. Seems like localy rolling back the thermal water rules would work realy well. If that waste heat is being pumped into the air anyways, might as well do something usefull with it.

  20. So its okay to build walls again manatees but not migrants

    Im starting to think this is all hilarious
    Greenies are fools

    Back to paper bags …..forest and with it ecological destruction!

  21. I actually lived at a lake with a power plant that was active and shut down, and it is quite interesting how much the water changed when it shut down. The water was considerably colder. When you were very near the plant it was like 80 degrees.

    No manatees in Texas though.

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