At its July meeting, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved a final rule establishing a Springs Protection Zone restricting beaching, mooring, anchoring and grounding of vessels on the spring run of the Weeki Wachee River extending from the spring boil within Weeki Wachee State Park to the Rogers Park Boat Ramp. 

Following the direction provided at the May Commission meeting, FWC Boating and Waterways staff coordinated with Hernando County officials, the Southwest Florida Water Management District and Department of Environmental Protection to review whether Weeki Wachee Spring met the criteria for the creation of the Springs Protection Zone and held three public meetings, two for the Weeki Wachee Springs Protection Zone in particular, and sought public comment through June 30 for interested parties before approval. The FWC, DEP, Southwest Florida Water Management District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Coast Guard evaluated the evidence presented. 

This Springs Protection Zone does not limit public access to the spring or spring run. Vessel operators will be prohibited from anchoring, mooring, beaching or grounding a vessel within the 5.61-mile protected zone. With limited exceptions, most tubes and rafts would not be considered vessels under Florida law.