Governing Board approves conservation land acquisition

News Release

The "Southwest Florida Water Management District Governing Board": approved the acquisition of "Boat Spring," which is part of a second magnitude spring system, located in the historic community of Aripeka, on the Gulf of Mexico at the Hernando and Pasco County line.

The Hammock Creek spring system includes Boat, Magnolia, Aripeka 1 and 2 springs which all flow into Hammock Creek that connects with the Gulf of Mexico. The acquisition property also includes the spring run from Magnolia Spring. The District already owns adjacent property as part of its Weekiwachee Preserve project.

The acquisition consists of 85 acres, with approximately 54 acres in Hernando County and 30 acres in Pasco County. The property is a mosaic of unusual physical features including springs, a spring run, a natural sand ridge with elevations approaching 40 feet together with freshwater swamps that support the adjoining saltwater estuary of Hammock Creek.

Acquiring Boat Springs will protect the water resources of the Hammock Creek spring system, link existing District ownerships and enhance the natural systems of the Weekiwachee Preserve. The property will also provide passive recreational opportunities to the public.

The total cost of the acquisition is $1,370,000 with funding available through the District's remaining balances of prior year allocations of its Florida Forever Trust Funds.