National Wild and Scenic Rivers

National Wild and Scenic RiversThe National Wild and Scenic Rivers System was created by Congress in 1968 (Public Law 90-542; 16 U.S.C. 1271 et seq.) as a response to threats occurring to our nation’s fragile rivers. The Wild and Scenic Rivers Act preserves those designated rivers which possess outstandingly scenic, natural, cultural, and recreational values in their free-flowing condition for the enjoyment of present and future generations.

Rivers may be designated by Congress or, if certain requirements are met, the Secretary of the Interior. Each river is administered by either a federal or state agency. Designated segments need not include the entire river and may include tributaries.

Recognizing the need to protect rivers beyond federally owned lands, the Partnership Wild and Scenic Rivers Program was initiated within the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. In On October 13, 2000, Congress designated the Wekiva River System as a Partnership Wild and Scenic River. The Wekiva Wild and Scenic River System is comprised of the Wekiva River together with Rock Springs Run, Wekiwa Springs Run, and Black Water Creek.

The Wekiva River System Advisory Management Committee is made up of local city, county and state representatives, land managers, non-profit organizations and other stakeholder groups working together to implement the Wekiva Wild and Scenic River System Comprehensive Management Plan.

The National Park Service provides staff support to help link the Committee to other agencies and the public, and it also provides technical and financial support. Together the National Park Service, Advisory Management Committee and partner organizations work to implement the goals and objectives of the Management Plan.

In the past 50 years, we have learned—all too slowly, I think—to prize and protect God’s precious gifts. Because we have, our own children and grandchildren will come to know and come to love the great forests and the wild rivers that we have protected and left to them . . . An unspoiled river is a very rare thing in this Nation today. Their flow and vitality have been harnessed by dams and too often they have been turned into open sewers by communities and by industries. It makes us all very fearful that all rivers will go this way unless somebody acts now to try to balance our river development.– President Lyndon Johnson on signing the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act, October 2, 1968.
WKS-LazyRiver-JimWintonWekiva Springs Run: Photo Credit: Jim Winton