With spring break season approaching, the Southwest Florida Water Management District (District), along with other local and state partners, wants to remind Chassahowitzka River visitors about the recreational best practices that will help protect the river and reduce ecological impacts.
Recreational activities can have a direct impact on the health of the river. For example, visitors leaving kayaks while on the river have trampled vegetation and eroded riverbanks. Also, trees have been damaged from climbing and rope swinging. A recent survey conducted by the District found less than a third of people understand the challenges of these ecological impacts.
“Your actions can directly affect the health of the river, and a healthy river benefits us all,” said Dr. Madison Trowbridge, springs scientist. “Working together we can find the right balance of solutions.”
Follow these eight tips to help protect the Chassahowitzka River:
1. Stay in the vessel when possible.
2. If you have to leave the vessel, tie off in shallow waters.
3. Avoid docking on riverbanks.
4. Don't trample vegetation or kick up silt.
5. Avoid climbing on banks.
6. Don't climb trees or use rope swings.
7. Don't throw out litter or leave anything behind.
8. Trim boat motors to prevent propeller scarring.
To learn more about protecting the Chassahowitzka River, visit WaterMatters.org/ProtectChass.
The education campaign is launching in partnership with Citrus County, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office and Discover Crystal River Florida.