Homosassa Springs has been a tourist attraction since the early 1900s and is now located within a state park that features a fishbowl observatory and manatee rehabilitation.
About the Springs
Homosassa Springs is the headwaters of the Homosassa River. This short, slow-moving tidal river flows eight miles from the headsprings to where it meets the Gulf of Mexico at Homosassa Bay in Citrus County, Florida.
The Homosassa springshed, which contributes groundwater to the brackish Homosassa Springs, is approximately 270 square miles of urbanized and agricultural lands, forested uplands and wetland. This springshed covers portions of Citrus and Hernando counties.
The headspring is located in the area now known as the Homosassa Springs State Wildlife Park. The springs have been a tourist attraction since the early 1900s. During that time, trains would stop to let rail passengers rest at the springs while it was loaded with fish, crabs, cedar wood and spring water.
The park serves as a rehabilitation center and refuge for orphaned or injured manatees. These marine mammals, along with many freshwater and saltwater fish, can be seen year round at the park’s fishbowl observatory.
The river has numerous canals and seawalls that have had a negative impact on water clarity and habitat.
Homosassa Springs is unique in that the headspring vent flows from three points underground with varying water quality and different salinities that blend together before exiting into the pool. In addition, there are two smaller spring-fed tributaries that flow into the Homosassa River, which are the southeast fork and the Halls River. It was also designated a Surface Water Improvement and Management priority water body by the District.
- Homosassa Habitat Enhancement (completed)
- Homosassa South Fork Water Quality Improvement (completed)
- Homosassa Submerged Aquatic Vegetation Mapping (ongoing)