Homosassa River Restoration Project Moves Ahead.

Restoration is complicated. An ecosystem severely degraded for decades will not heal quickly. Timelines and benchmarks can be set but nature has it’s own plans. Hurricanes, uncaring and uninformed boaters along with algae blooms hinder or destroy new grass beds. Equipment, permitting and funding issues are a constant challenge. Yet the project moves forward.

Fighting to grow and sustain grass

The installation of Submerged Aquatic Vegetation (SAV) in Phase 1 was an initial success. Unfortunately several factors soon turned that into less than satisfactory results. Large numbers or people walking and standing on the new grass upstream of the Fishbowl Drive Bridge soon uprooted and destroyed many areas. Exclusion cages in the main river channels were unknowingly caught on boaters anchors and some were just out and out vandalized. Many just disappeared altogether. Winter manatee season regulations did not allow for maintenance and cleaning of the cages that remained which allowed algae to build up and smother the healthy grass underneath. Yet HRRP continued to replant and slowly expand several grass beds. Then Hurricane Idalia paid the area a visit. Established grass which had managed to survive people, boaters and algae mostly survived the intrusion of salt water although damage was extensive. Grass which had just been installed earlier that season was too young to withstand the high salinity.

Goals for the 2024 Season.

Permit modifications have now been obtained that will allow divers to perform maintenance into the winter manatee season. Maintenance and recleaning and replanting of Phase 1 was delayed due to worksite issues but will finally begin the first week of July. Crews will concentrate on the Blue Water Loop Canal. Boaters do not usually anchor or stand in the canal leading to less pressure on newly planted grass. Initial vacuuming and planting in the canals located in Phase 2 will continue throughout the summer moving into the main river channel in late August and early September.

Thanks to the efforts of Senator Blaise Ingoglia and Representative Ralph Massullo during this years legislative session HRRP funding is secure for this year.

Long Term

The Save Crystal River Kings Bay Restoration Project and our own early success has proven that sustainable grass beds can be reintroduced in the Homosassa River. Working with our contractor, HRRP will continue to learn and adapt. New and innovative technologies are always coming online. Thanks to our state legislature and local fund raising initiatives, HRRP is completely funded for this year and remains committed to a successful restoration.


  • Float Don’t Stand. It is no different than your front yard. If every weekend you have 100 of your friends parking and standing on your grass you will not have grass for long.
  • Anchor Responsibly. Pay attention to where and how you anchor. Use a power pole or spud pole if possible. If you must use a Danforth type anchor do not drag it.
  • Boat Responsibly. Know your boats draft. Trim up the motor when in shallow water or better yet just don’t go there.
  • Check Out These Websites.  Learn more about the efforts to save our natural resources.        Save Crystal River.  Sea & Shoreline.
  • Donate. Help HRRP help the Homosassa River
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