Video: Manatee munches on Spanish moss at Three Sisters Springs

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Three Sisters Springs will be closed to the public for several months while the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD) works to restore the eroding shoreline that surrounds the property.

The SWFWMD will work with the City of Crystal River and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to complete the project, which aims to improve the Crystal River/Kings Bay spring system by restoring the habitats of critical species.

According to the SWFWMD, human and manatee activity have intensified erosion along the canal surrounding Three Sisters. This has caused trees along the shoreline to collapse, and sediments to fall into the water and enter the spring vent.

Three Sisters Springs Stabilization Project Map. (Source: SWFWMD)

The shoreline around the springs was last restored in 2016 to prevent erosion and stop sediments from entering the vent. The latest project will continue restoration work from the mouth of the spring run to the vicinity of Idiot’s Delight.

Native wetland plants will be planted along the shoreline to provide additional stabilization, prevent future erosion and help reduce the impacts of stormwater runoff.

The 57-acre property will be closed during the project. Swimmers and kayakers will not be able to access the water.

The closure will begin Saturday, April 1 and is expected to last until November.

SWFWMD will hold a public meeting at 5:30 p.m. on April 5 to share more information about the project. The event will take place at the Crystal River National Wildlife Complex Headquarters, 1502 SE Kings Bay Drive.

Three Sisters is located on the Crystal River in Citrus County.

FILE – In a Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016 file photo, manatees crowd into 72-degree springs, seeking warmth from cold Gulf temperatures, at Three Sisters Springs in Crystal River Fla. A report says that in January 2018, 35 manatees across Florida have died as a result of cold stress syndrome. (AP Photo/Tamara Lush, File)

For more information about the project, visit