Welcome to Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge
A manatee swimming close to the surface of the water. Photo: Jim Reid, USFWS.
Snorklers viewing manatees. Photo: USFWS.
The Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge, was established in 1983 specifically for the protection of the endangered West Indian Manatee. This unique refuge preserves the last unspoiled and undeveloped habitat in Kings Bay, which forms the headwaters of the Crystal River. The refuge preserves the warm water spring havens, which provide critical habitat for the manatee populations that migrate here each winter.
Information about the Crystal River NWR can be obtained by visiting the refuge headquarters, located in Crystal River, Florida. The headquarters can be accessed from U.S. 19, which runs through the Town of Crystal River. A directional sign located on both sides of the highway, at the intersection of U.S. 19 and S.E. Paradise Point Drive. Turn onto Paradise Point Drive and proceed west, following the road. As Paradise Point Drive curves toward the north, it will change names and become Kings Bay Drive. The headquarters building is located at 1502 S.E. Kings Bay Drive, which is on the left side of the road, immediately adjacent to the Port Hotel and Marina.
Watch Manatees Live From Your Computer!
We've set up a manatee camera so that you can watch manatees at any time from any place. Click here to watch the manatee cam.
Kings Bay Manatee Refuge
On March 16, 2012, the rule establishing a Manatee Refuge in Kings Bay, Crystal River, Florida, was published in the federal register. To read the rule, click here. For more information on the new manatee refuge designation in Kings Bay, please visit the North Florida Ecological Services Office site on Florida manatees.
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Video: Open House at Three Sister's Springs
Get a glimpse of the exciting events that take place at Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge, and meet a few of the people who make them happen. Video by Jeff Hall.