A spring is a natural opening in the ground where water flows directly from the aquifer to the earth’s surface. In other words, spring vents are windows into the aquifer. These crystal clear springs are often referred to as giant bowls of liquid light due to the beautiful spectrum of blue colors reflecting on the white sandy bottoms that surround the spring vents. The springs and their associated rivers and bays have tremendous ecological value, and are home to countless plants and animals. The springs' crystal clear, calm flowing current and constant 72 degrees F make them an ideal spot for wintering manatees.

With more than 70 springs, Crystal River/Kings Bay is the largest natural winter refuge for manatees in the world, hosting over 550 manatees each winter.

Crystal River/Kings Bay is the second largest springs group in Florida, with more than 70 springs scattered within the 600-acre bay. The springs are the headwaters of Crystal River, which is a short, tidal river that flows seven miles from the headsprings to where it meets the Gulf of Mexico at Crystal Bay in Citrus County, Florida.

For more information and updates on the Springs, go to http://www.swfwmd.state.fl.us/springs/.