Three Sisters Springs Canal Stabilization Project

This project will restore habitat, including critical manatee habitat, and prevent erosion of sediment into the spring.


The Three Sisters Springs property and water access to the springs is temporarily closed while the canal shoreline is being repaired. This closure is necessary to protect in-water recreational users and property visitors from conflicts with construction. The property and springs will reopen once construction is complete, which is scheduled to be completed by November 15, 2023. 


Three Sisters Springs Stabilization Project Map.jpg
Figure 1: Work Area for Three Sisters Springs Canal Stabilization Project (Source: Stantec Consulting Services Inc, June 2021)

Project Overview 

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. 


A fallen tree at Three Sisters Springs.
Figure 2: A fallen tree at confluence of TSS Spring Run and Canal, April 2021 (Photo Credit, Robin Speidel, SWFWMD)


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.

Project Details

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

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. 

Project Timeline 

In-water construction in designated Manatee Refuges may not be conducted during Manatee Season, which occurs annually from November 15 to April 1. Mobilization for construction began in April 2023 and construction is to be completed by November 15, 2023.