The Southwest Florida Water Management District(District) will hold a public meeting Tuesday, March 1, at 5:30 p.m., to share information about the Weeki Wachee Channel Restoration Project. The meeting will take place at the Coast Guard Auxiliary Meeting Hall, located at 4340 Calienta St. in Hernando Beach.
This multiyear project evaluated accumulated sediments in the river and identified where removal of sediments will benefit the river’s ecosystem. The contractor will dredge in the lower river to reestablish historic river depths where accumulated sediments have covered natural habitats. The contractor will start work in February and will be working in the river beginning in March. The work is expected to be complete in October 2022.
The river will remain navigable during the project.
Sedimentation is an environmental problem in the Weeki Wachee River and is identified as one of the priority issues in the District’s Weeki Wachee River Surface Water Improvement and Management (SWIM) Plan. Sedimentation alters the river channel structure and can smother beneficial submerged aquatic vegetation and other habitats. Despite most sources of erosion being addressed in the past, this sediment continues to work its way downstream with widening sand bars and increasingly shallow areas in the lower river as signs of continued sedimentation.
The project is funded by the District and the State of Florida. The District is the lead agency implementing the project and is working with input from Hernando County, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.
To learn more about the Weeki Wachee Channel Restoration Project, visit our website atWaterMatters.org/WeekiChannel.