Weeki Wachee Springs to receive $13 million from state to manage water quality

Florida's governor chose one of the state's oldest roadside attractions – right in Hernando County – to announce a statewide initiative to improve water quality.

On Tuesday morning, those residing in and near Weeki Wachee State Springs learned the state park will receive more than $13 million for the initiative. The money will go toward five projects aimed at restoring the spring. 

"Florida is home to the best springs in the country," Gov. Ron DeSantis said during a press conference. "Weeki Wachee Springs is historic, it’s phenomenal. Our springs can support entire ecosystems. Of course, they provide great recreational opportunities."

It is one of 103 projects across Florida that will receive wastewater improvement grants. The total amount for all projects is about $481 million, according to the governor.

"This is what Florida's quality of life is all about," DeSantis said. "This is what our economy runs on. You can't find this anywhere else in the country, really. So, this is unique. We're blessed to have it, and we have a responsibility to leave it better than we found it."

MORE: Weeki Wachee Springs State Park: More than just mermaids

The park, of course, is most famous for the underwater mermaid performances. As they have since 1947, their shows take place in the historic theater right above the source of the spring.

The spring-fed river winds its way west. A variety of Florida wildlife can be seen, from birds to fish to manatees, and even the occasional alligator. The park offers a small riverboat cruise, while kayaks and stand-up paddleboards are available for solo trips.

LINK: For more information, visit www.weekiwachee.com

READ: Q&A with Gov. DeSantis: The run for reelection, Casey's cancer battle, Roger Stone, and the presidency