Crystal River

Orientation & Geography

North America, United States, Citrus County

The Crystal River is a very short river in Citrus County, Florida flowing into the Gulf of Mexico. It is just seven miles (eleven kilometers) long, and has a drainage basin of five square miles (thirteen square kilometers), joining Kings Bay to the Gulf of Mexico. The river's significance is in the thirty natural springs that add an average of 300 million gallons (1,135 million liters) of warm water to the river every day. These springs include Three Sisters Springs. The warm water in the river attracts large numbers of manatees, and Kings Bay, at the head of the river and the location of 28 of the springs, harbors approximately 350 manatees during the winter. Some biologists consider Crystal River to be the most important refuge for manatees in the United States. In the first half of the 19th century Crystal River was known as Weewahiiaca, believed to be from the Creek language words wewa, meaning "water", and haiyayaka, meaning "clear". The city of Crystal River is located on the river. The Crystal River Energy Complex, which consists of four coal-burning power plants and the Crystal River 3 Nuclear Generating Station, is located near the mouth of the river. The Crystal River Archaeological State Park is located on the river.