Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has approved a final rule that establishes a Spring Protection Zone for more than five miles of the Weeki Wachee River.
Specifically, the newly established zone prohibits vessel operators from anchoring, beaching, mooring, and grounding vessels on a portion of the Weeki Wachee River between the spring boil and the Rogers Park boat ramp in Hernando County.
The FWC commissioners voted to establish the 5.61-mile Spring Protection Zone during their meeting on July 19 after the Hernando County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) voted in February 2022 to ask the FWC to establish the Spring Protection Zone.
Hernando County Administrator Jeffrey Rogers said the FWC decision was key to protecting the area’s environment.
“As Florida continues to develop and grow in population, we have to protect the natural environment for today and in the future,” Rogers said. “The decision by the BOCC, supported by the FWC Commission, is a decision to protect the natural resources of our County.”
The new rule does not limit public access to the spring or spring run, the FWC said, and with only limited exceptions, most tubes and rafts would not be considered vessels under Florida law.