The Three Sisters Springs Wetland Treatment Project is helping improve the quality of stormwater before it enters Kings Bay.
The Southwest Florida Water Management District constructed a wetland area on the Three Sisters Springs property to treat stormwater runoff and improve the quality of stormwater before it enters Kings Bay. The Three Sisters property is co-owned by the District and the City of Crystal River. It is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Wetlands play an important role in the environment and have often been called “nature’s kidneys” because they help clean out pollutants that move through them. A six-acre section of the property, adjacent to Cutler Spur Road, was converted into a constructed wetland.
Previously during rainstorms, nutrients and pollutants from more than 100 acres of commercial and residential land flowed through a ditch into Kings Bay, Crystal River and eventually, the Gulf of Mexico. Now, stormwater runoff is diverted through the treatment wetland and many pollutants are filtered out instead of entering Kings Bay.
Non-native and nuisance species were removed and replaced with wetland vegetation such as bald cypress trees and sawgrass. Also, approximately one acre of the man-made lake on the property was filled and a forested swamp created. This helped to restore the habitat to a condition similar to what it would have been many years ago.
Construction began in February of 2015 and was completed in 2016.