I am taken on a boat ride on this river while working as an environmental specialist at the Florida Department of Environmental Regulation, benefiting from a cooperative education program while I attend Florida State University for a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning. My supervisor and I are given a tour of the river to determine whether the river merits “Outstanding Florida Waters” designation.
I am astounded by the crystal clear water and the white sandy bottom. On this particular day, I find the river teeming with quite large fish. Having grown up in upstate New York, I feel as if I have been transported back to a time before the arrival of Europeans to the Americas, when the water was pristine and the rivers filled with fish. I can hardly believe my eyes.
The river flows for about eight miles. It is west of Brooksville, and north of Tampa. “Weeki Wachee” is a Creek Indian term that means “little spring”. Despite the name, though, it is a major spring. Much of the shoreline is highly developed. However, much of it is rather wild and picturesque.
A very “campy” feature found at Weeki Wachee River is a “mermaid” show, which has been running for about 38 years.