A rare warm water site on the Suncoast is under restoration to make way for everyone’s favorite sea cows.

Florida Fish and Wildlife (FWC) is clearing up Warm mineral springs just in time for winter.

“It's been several years just doing the engineering all of the modeling and developing the plans,” said Maria Merill, a Biologist with FWC.

Warm Mineral Springs in North Port is one of the only warm water sites on the Suncoast. It flows into warm mineral creek and salt creek.  

“Portions of those creeks are really critical warm water habitat for 125 manatees that have been documented using that area,” said Merill.

“This is a very safe area for them its out of the main stream so they’re not running into boats,” said Lazy River Village resident Michael Gregg.

A mounted suction dredge is removing excess sediment that’s clogging up the waterway. It's built on a platform so it can operate in shallow water without disrupting the floor.

“They have scuba divers down at the bottom that are hand operating the sediment removal to make sure they are doing it very accurately,” said Merill. 

Residents along the water look forward to seeing manatees each year.

“We even get some that have their little babies with them, at one point there was one out there that had 10 babies with them. Now we were assuming they were the babysitter but it was really cool,” said Gregg. 

Construction costs 2.5 million dollars and was funded through senate bill 2500 hundred.

“It all came together at the right time when funding became available to see it get done. I’m really excited,” said Merill. 

Dredging began in June and is scheduled to be complete by the end of October.