This project will restore habitat, including critical manatee habitat, and prevent erosion of sediment into the spring.
In 2016, the District completed a shoreline restoration at Three Sisters Springs to repair the eroded shoreline and prevent future erosion. To complement this project, the District is now conducting a shoreline restoration extending from the mouth of the spring run to around the area of Idiot’s Delight Spring (Figure 1). These improvements will benefit the Crystal River/Kings Bay spring system by restoring habitat, including critical manatee habitat and reducing erosion along the shoreline of the Three Sisters property.
The canal shoreline surrounding the Three Sisters Springs property has been eroded and undercut from years of manatee and human activity. The erosion causes sediments to enter the spring vent, cloud the waters and shoreline trees to collapse (Figure 2), which results in loss of habitat and decreases water clarity.
The shoreline in the vicinity of Idiot’s Delight will be stabilized and reinforced, which aesthetically will look similar to the stabilization project completed at the headsprings in 2016. In addition, a variety of native wetland plants will be installed on the restored shoreline. These plants will provide additional shoreline stabilization and help reduce the impacts of stormwater runoff.
Project partners include: the District, the City of Crystal River and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The Three Sisters Springs property is co-owned by the District and the City of Crystal River. It is managed by the City of Crystal River and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
In-water construction in designated Manatee Refuges may not be conducted during Manatee Season, which occurs annually from November 15 to April 1. Construction is anticipated to begin in April 2023 and be complete by November 15, 2023.
During construction, the spring run entrance will be closed to kayaks and swimming, and land-based visitation to the Three Sisters property will be suspended. This closure is necessary to protect in-water recreational users and Refuge visitors from conflicts with construction.