Weeki Wachee Springs has an extensive underwater cave system and is known for its world-famous mermaids.
About the Springs
Weeki Wachee Springs are the headwaters of the Weeki Wachee River. This short, fast-moving river flows 7.4 miles from the headspring to where it meets the Gulf of Mexico at Bayport in Hernando County, Florida.
The Weeki Wachee springshed, which contributes groundwater to Weeki Wachee Springs, is approximately 260 square miles of urbanized areas, agricultural lands and forested uplands. This springshed covers portions of Hernando and Pasco counties.
The headspring is home to Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, which features a water park and the famous underwater mermaid show. The lower section of the river has been dredged and channelized with canals for riverfront homes and businesses. The slightly brackish canals and lower portion of the river are tidally influenced by the Gulf of Mexico. Like many springs in the state, Weeki Wachee Springs and its river have elevated nitrate levels and some problems with filamentous Lyngbya algae growth. Excess nitrate levels in water can be harmful to aquatic insects, amphibians and fish. If algae have an unlimited source of nitrates, excess growth may occur. Large amounts of algae growth can cause reduced water clarity and extreme fluctuations in dissolved oxygen, which is stressful to aquatic life.
Weeki Wachee Springs is unique in that its largest spring vent has an extensive underwater cave system that has been explored to a depth of more than 400 feet. In addition, there is a long historical record of water quality and discharge data dating back to the 1930s. It was also designated a Surface Water Improvement and Management priority water body by the District.
- Protecting the Weeki Wachee River
- Weeki Wachee Channel Restoration Project (ongoing)
- Weeki Wachee Natural System Carrying Capacity Study (completed)
- Weeki Wachee Springs Restoration Project (completed)
- Weeki Wachee Rogers Park LID Implementation (completed)
- Stormwater Management for Weeki Wachee Springs State Park (completed)
- Weeki Wachee Submerged Aquatic Vegetation Mapping (ongoing)