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Weeki Wachee River

Highlights SWIM Program

  • Weeki Wachee Springs are the headwaters of the Weeki Wachee River
  • The headspring is home to Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, which features a water park and the famous underwater mermaid show
  • Located in Hernando County
  • 260-square-mile springshed


The main challenges facing Weeki Wachee are:

  • Elevated nitrate levels, which can be harmful to aquatic insects, amphibians and fish.
  • Growth of filamentous Lyngbya algae, which can cause reduced water clarity and extreme fluctuations in dissolved oxygen, which is stressful to aquatic life.
  • Bank erosion has increased sedimentation throughout the river, smothering aquatic vegetation and other beneficial habitats.


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

  • Removing sediment and invasive algae in the headspring and downstream
  • Improving stormwater systems to remove sediment and debris from runoff
  • Revegetating with desirable submerged aquatic vegetation

Success indicators

Through the Weeki Wachee Stormwater and Restoration projects, successful implementation is indicated by:

  • Improved water quality
  • A decrease in nuisance plants and increases in desirable submerged aquatic vegetation
  • Enhanced overall natural system

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