You’ve probably seen those sandy lines along the river floor, running through the eelgrass (see picture above). These scars are caused by boat propellers. Scars can also be formed by using hooked anchors that uproot native eelgrass and leave sandy patches in the riverbed. While many boaters believe scraping the bottom is no problem, it takes time for eelgrass to grow back. Often, Save Crystal River will intervene and patch the scars before they fill with gunk and detritus.
The ability to transform an algae-based aquatic ecosystem into a plant-based system is the key to making Crystal River crystal clear. Eelgrass is vital to the health of our river. Interested in how it's done?
In the summer, tourists flood to Crystal River to spend their days scalloping in the Gulf of Mexico, but due to over-catching and degrading water quality, the number of bay scallops has greatly decreased over the past ten years.
Species diversity in sawgrass is limited, but it fosters lots of life. Typically, alligators use sawgrass to nest. Sawgrasses not only provide habitat, but they also provide a place of refuge for any animal trying to escape the Florida sun or a pursuing predator. One species I didn’t expect to see were barnacles on my dock posts. Due to the rising salinity levels of Crystal River, the once freshwater part of King’s Bay I live on has become salty enough to support barnacles and other, more dangerous, saltwater species.