Chassahowitzka River



  • The lower half of the river is part of the more than 31,000-acre Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge
  • Designated an Outstanding Florida Water
  • Located in Citrus County
  • 190-square-mile springshed


The main challenges in the Chassahowitzka springshed are: 

  • Ecological shifts in the river caused by sea level rise, coupled with the decline of spring discharge primarily due to a long-term decrease in rainfall. 
  • While the river is relatively healthy, the headwaters and the upstream canal system are in poor condition, with significant sediment accumulation and unhealthy filamentous algae. 


Through cooperation with other government agencies, these challenges are met by:

  • Removing accumulated sediments to help improve water clarity 
  • Reducing excess nutrients found in accumulated sediments
  • Improving the bottom habitat for plants and animals

Success Indicators

Through the Chassahowitzka Springs Restoration Project, successful implementation is indicated by:

  • The project area is two- to four-feet deeper
  • An estimated 500 pounds of phosphorus and 7,600 pounds of nitrogen were removed 

Future goals will be developed through an adaptive management process, always striving to help restore Florida’s natural ecosystems.