Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge
Southeast Region

 

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Welcome to Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge

An underwater shot of a manatee coming up for air

A manatee swimming close to the surface of the water. Photo: Jim Reid, USFWS.

Snorklers swimming with the Manatee. Credit: 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.



Getting There...

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.

 

 


Crystal River NWR Public Workshop - Notes from the 8 Breakout Groups:


Crystal River NWR held a public workshop on 7.11.2013 at the Plantation Inn to discuss waterway management inside Three Sisters Springs and the spring run. With nearly 100 attendees, lots of ideas were raised to address the concerns with overcrowding, conflicts between users, and impacts to wildlife and habitat at this site. The flipchart notes from each of the 8 breakout groups are posted here. We appreciate the continued interest in future management of Crystal River NWR.

 

 

NOTICE:
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.

For More Information:
  • Jacksonville Ecological Services Office
  • Federal Register Notice
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Press Release
  • Draft Environmental Assessment
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    Watch Manatee Manners

     

    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.

     

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    Crystal River Refuge's "Manatee Manners" for Boaters

    Published on Dec 19, 2013, Between November and April, Kings Bay is home to the largest aggregation of manatees in a natural environment in the world. To protect manatees from harm, harassment and disturbance, the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge and Manatee Sanctuaries were created in parts of Kings Bay. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service asks all boaters to watch this informational video in order to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for humans and manatees alike.

    For more information on the Refuge and manatees, visit http://www.fws.gov/crystalriver/

     

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    Crystal River Refuge's "Manatee Manners" for Photographers and Videographers

    Published on Dec 19, 2013, Between November and April, Kings Bay is home to the largest aggregation of manatees in a natural environment in the world. To protect manatees from harm, harassment and disturbance, the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge and Manatee Sanctuaries were created in parts of Kings Bay. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service asks all photographers and videographers to watch this informational video in order to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for humans and manatees alike.

    For more information on the Refuge and manatees, visit http://www.fws.gov/crystalriver/

     

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    Crystal River Refuge's "Manatee Manners" for Swimmers

    Published on Dec 19, 2013, Between November and April, Kings Bay is home to the largest aggregation of manatees in a natural environment in the world. To protect manatees from harm, harassment and disturbance, the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge and Manatee Sanctuaries were created in parts of Kings Bay. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service asks anyone wishing to swim near the manatees to watch this informational video in order to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for humans and manatees alike.

    For more information on the Refuge and manatees, visit http://www.fws.gov/crystalriver/

     

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    Crystal River Refuge's "Manatee Manners" for Paddlers

    Published on Dec 19, 2013, Between November and April, Kings Bay is home to the largest aggregation of manatees in a natural environment in the world. To protect manatees from harm, harassment and disturbance, the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge and Manatee Sanctuaries were created in parts of Kings Bay. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service asks all paddlers to watch this informational video in order to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for humans and manatees alike.

    For more information on the Refuge and manatees, visit http://www.fws.gov/crystalriver/

     

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    Last updated: January 2, 2014