Some of the cities and towns located in the Springs Coast Watershed include Brooksville, Crystal River, Dunnellon, Homosassa, New Port Richey and Spring Hill. The trademarks of this watershed are the many springs that discharge to form rivers, the extensive coastal swamps and salt marshes, high pine woodlands and lakes.
There are more than 200 documented springs that occur throughout the Southwest Florida Water Management District (District). Five of these have a discharge of 64.6 million gallons per day or more. This makes them a first-magnitude spring. These five springs are in or discharge to an area known as the Springs Coast and make up the Springs Coast Watershed. The five major springs are: Rainbow Springs, Crystal River/Kings Bay springs group, Homosassa Springs, Chassahowitzka Springs, and Weeki Wachee Springs. Combined, these springs discharge more than one billion gallons of water per day!
These five first-magnitude springs are designated Outstanding Florida Springs by the Florida Legislature and are Surface Water Improvement and Management (SWIM) priority water bodies. Springs experts at the District are working to improve habitat and water clarity in springs and rivers. The District invited local, regional, and state agencies to form the Springs Coast Steering Committee. Then the committee developed management plans (called SWIM plans) to identify ways to improve each complex spring system.
Today, we will travel from the northern to the southern part of the Springs Coast Watershed.