The Southwest Florida Water Management District restored portions of Weeki Wachee Springs in 2009 to improve water quality in the headspring and the upper river, as well as enhance the overall natural system.
The Weeki Wachee Restoration Project was the second project aimed at cleaning up the springs.
The first project was the Weeki Wachee Stormwater Project, which was completed in 2008, and captured and treated stormwater runoff from U.S. Highway 19 and the Weeki Wachee Springs State Park’s parking lot.
Prior to these restoration projects, several issues contributed to water quality and habitat degradation in the headspring and upper reaches of the Weeki Wachee River. The issues included the accumulation of sand, silt, muck and debris in the headspring as well as downstream. Additional issues included extensive growth of nuisance algae and plants over desirable, native plant species.
Project components included removing sediments, Lyngbya algae and other exotic vegetation as well as revegetating native plant species. The project area stretched from the spring vent to the vicinity of the Weeki Wachee Springs attraction’s boat dock.
The sediment removal portion of the project included contractors removing sediment, debris, and invasive algae both manually and through the use of a vacuum dredge.
The project was completed in 2009.