THE SPATIAL RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN NORTH AMERICAN MANATEE AND INDUSTRIAL POWER PLANTS
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AbstractThe NPR podcast series Planet Money published a special series titled How Florida’s manatees got hooked on fossil fuels, it talked about how manatees in Florida were dependent on the hot water that power plants are releasing into the ocean and how that might be a cause for an increase in manatee populations. This poses an interesting environmental industrial relation predicament where manatees are in danger of extinction and power plants might be a solution to saving this species, but power plants are also part of environmental degradation and climate change. This study looks at the relationship between power plant sites and observed manatee locations as well as manatee recovery locations throughout the state of Florida. Spatial statistics and hot spot analysis will help understand distribution of manatees and power plants. Point data sets for the years 1991-2019 were used to create density map, hot and cold spot analysis, and colocation analysis that concluded that manatees do conjugate around industrial power plants. However, manatees do cluster more around natural gas power plants as compared to Florida’s other leading power plant facilities.