We are thrilled to announce the commencement of construction on an innovative seagrass nursery exhibit. The new tanks will serve as an educational resource for visitors, as well as a functioning nursery to facilitate seagrass growth.

“After three years of planning, we are excited to kick off this project that further highlights our ongoing dedication to environmental education and awareness,” said Zack Greenberg, manager of Manatee Lagoon. “This seagrass nursery will serve as a key component of the center’s public education initiatives to underscore the importance of seagrass in our marine ecosystems and for the gentle giants we love here at Manatee Lagoon.”

Construction on the seagrass nursery will occupy the southeast region of the property, adjacent to the solar pavilion. While there is minimal effect expected to the center from construction, we are urging visitors to exercise caution near the construction area. The new exhibit is expected to be completed in April.

Consisting of above-ground tanks, the nursery will use water from the Lake Worth Lagoon to facilitate seagrass growth. As the seagrass matures, it will be transplanted, in collaboration with partners, into carefully selected areas, benefiting manatees and their ecosystems.

Seagrass is not only important for Florida manatees and other marine species, but also the entire Lake Worth Lagoon ecosystem. Seagrass and aquatic vegetation is the main food source for manatees. On average, one manatee eats up to 10% of its body weight of aquatic vegetation in a day. Seagrass beds also help maintain good water quality for this important ecosystem. The root system helps to keep the sand on the sea floor and prevents it from getting stirred up in the water. This helps improve water clarity, allowing sunlight to penetrate the water and reach marine vegetation.