Kings Bay / Crystal River Restoration Action Plan Crystal River, Florida, U.S.A.

Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

M.S. Marine Biology

First Advisor

David Gilliam

Second Advisor

Andrew Rogerson


Crystal River is designated by the state of Florida as class Ill water and an Oustanding Florida Water (OFW). In addition, in 1988, Crystal River was designated a priority waterbody by the Surface Water Improvement and Management (SWIM) Program under the SWIM Act of 1987. Kings Bay, the headwaters of Crystal River, is known for its abundance of manatees and contains several federal manatee sanctuaries. Kings Bay is the main driving force for the local ecotourism economy.

In recent years, the reduction in water clarity and the increase in the cyanobacterium, Lyngbya wollei, in the Crystal River system has placed additional emphasis on the need to restore Kings Bay. The 2000 Crystal River Surface Water Improvement and Management Plan acknowledges these as the major issues for this watershed and set a goal to restore water clarity to a horizontal secchi of 45 feet. In order to accomplish this goal, this Capstone paper will review the unique geology, hydrology and natural history of the Crystal River/Kings Bay system, land use patterns and population within the watershed, and current research within Kings Bay to develop a management plan of action for restoration. This paper will guide future management efforts in developing a restoration working group for Kings Bay, and be the background and guide for the Kings Bay Restoration Plan to be developed by the working group. This restoration working group will consist of local governments, citizens, state and federal agencies, and local businesses.

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