Researchers work to protect a popular Florida river before the spring break season

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Weeki Wachee River - Credit: Sean Kinane

Spring break season is approaching. That’s a time when Florida’s fragile rivers can get damaged from overuse. Local and state partners want to minimize environmental damage to a popular Hernando County destination.

The Weeki Wachee River in Hernando County has been a popular vacation spot since the 50’s, with kayaking, boating, and the deepest freshwater cave system in the country.

However, researchers say the influx of spring break visitors may cause problems.

“What we do on the river can impact the river without us even realizing it. The district conducted an ecological study and the study found that there was a direct between recreational use on the river, as well as environmental damage.” Dr. Madison Trowbridge, springs scientist at the Southwest Florida Water Management District, tells WMNF.

“The district created seven tips in order to help protect the Weeki Wachee River. These are: stay in your vessels if possible, if you have to leave your vessel, tie off in shallow waters, avoid docking on riverbanks, don’t trample on vegetation or pick up silt, avoid climbing on banks and walking on sandpoint bars, don’t climb trees or use rope swings, and don’t throw out litter or leave anything behind.”

To learn more about the protection efforts, visit watermatters.org/protectweeki

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