Designated: October 13, 2000
Location: The 41.6-mile designated Wekiva Wild and Scenic River is located north of Orlando in central Florida from its confluence with the St. Johns River to Wekiwa Springs and the tributaries of Rock Springs Run; Wekiwa Springs Run; and Black Water Creek.
Outstanding Resources: Scenery, recreation, geology, and diverse habitats support threatened and endangered species including one of the few remaining Florida Black Bear populations.
Management Approach: A coordinated federal, state and local management committee, the "Wekiva River System Advisory Management Committee," determine and implement the management plan for the Wekiva River. Eighteen partners consisting of federal, state, local and private organizations hold membership on the committee. This partnership arrangement ensures coordinated front-end planning and long-term oversight of this outstanding resource; day-to-day operations are left to the current land managers.
Overview: The Wekiva River Basin is located in Orange, Seminole, and Lake Counties, Florida and is composed of a delicate and complex system of rivers, springs, seepage areas, lakes, streams, sinkholes, wetland prairies, hardwood hammocks, pine flatwoods and sand pine scrub communities. Located where the temperate and tropical climatic zones meet, the basin supports plant and animal species that are endangered, threatened, or of special concern, including the American Alligator, the Bald Eagle, the Wood Stork, and the West Indian Manatee.
While this area of Florida has experienced tremendous population growth in the last two decades with over 1.3 million people now living within 20 miles of the Wekiva River, the Wekiva Basin, combined with the adjacent Ocala National Forest, is the largest contiguous undeveloped landmass in Central Florida. In addition to the wild and scenic designation, the Wekiva River System includes over 70,000 acres of state-protected lands and has become a major Central Florida recreation area. The Wekiva is one of the most heavily canoed waters in the state and is an outstanding example of Florida's crystal clear spring-fed runs and black-water creeks.