Chassahowitzka Spring Group
The first magnitude Chassahowitzka Spring Group in Citrus County is designated as an Outstanding Florida Spring. Located in the Southwest Florida Water Management District, these springs form the headwaters of their namesake river and feed a tidal river that flows through the Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge and Chassahowitzka Wildlife Management Area on its 5.8-mile journey to the Gulf of Mexico. Over a dozen springs feed groundwater to the river, with Chassahowitzka Main Spring, Seven Sisters Spring, Chassahowitzka #1 and #2, and Crab Creek holding special places in the ecosystem. Of these, the Main Spring is the group’s only first-magnitude source. Unlike most Florida springs, it has no exposed limestone. The ground bubbles as water flows up through the porous, silty sand covering the limestone. The Chassahowitzka Springs ecosystem is threatened by high nitrate levels and declining flows.
In 2016, the Florida Legislature passed the Florida Springs and Aquifer Protection Act.
Chassahowitzka Spring Group is currently one of the twenty four Outstanding Florida Springs or Springs Groups that is considered “impaired”.
The following images were provided courtesy of the State Archives of Florida. This incredible photographic library provides a window into the historic spring landscape, documenting changing spring and surface water levels, as well as human use and development in this special location.
This is the location for access to data related to this spring. Below, you will find links to reports, data, as well as maps and information from the Florida Springs Institute’s Blue Water Audit project about this particular spring or spring group.
The Blue Water Audit is a tool developed by the Florida Springs Institute to estimate and visualize the impact of human activities on the Floridan Aquifer. Using existing data from a variety of sources, the Blue Water Audit estimates nitrogen loading and groundwater withdrawals for the Florida Springs Region. These estimates are used to assign Aquifer Footprints – a Floridan Aquifer Nitrogen Footprint (water quality) and a Floridan Aquifer Groundwater Footprint (water quantity). Below are maps of the Blue Water Audit Floridan Aquifer Nitrogen footprint for the Chassahowitzka springshed within the Southwest Florida Water Management District, as well as a map of the land use within the Chassahowitzka springshed. To find out more about the Blue Water Audit project and to learn how this tool was developed, visit Blue Water Audit.
DATA AND REPORTS
FDEP – BMAP for Homossassa and Chassahowitzka Spring Groups
FDEP – Nutrient TMDLs for Chassahowitzka Springs Group
USGS – Water Data – Chassahowitzka River
SWFWMD – Chassahowitzka Spring Group
SWFWMD – Chassahowitzka Springs Data Dashboard
SWFWMD – Recommended Minimum Flows for the Chassahowitzka River System
SWFWMD – Reevaluation of Minimum Flows for the Chassahowitzka River System
The Interactive Florida Springs Atlas was produced with generous support from the Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida. The Community Foundation of North Central Florida supported this project through generous support for our Blue Water Audit project.