National Wild and Scenic Rivers

Wekiva Springs Run: Photo Credit: Jim Winton

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.

The River Management Society (RMS), is a national non-profit organization whose mission is “to support professionals who study, protect and manage North America’s rivers.”  RMS is home to the River Training CenterNational Rivers Project and River Studies and Leadership Certificate and supports wild and scenic rivers with online and in-person workshops in supporting rivers that are federally protected. Events are open to the public, and many programs are recorded and posted online at the River Training Channel.

National Wild & Scenic River System Designation

The Wekiva River together with Wekiwa Springs Run, Rock Springs Run and Black Water Creek were designated by the United States Congress as a National Wild and Scenic River in October 2000. The Wild and Scenic Rivers Act states that in order for a river to be eligible for designation it must be “free-flowing” and must possess one or more “outstandingly remarkable” values.

Our 5 Outstanding Remarkable Values:
  • Scenic
  • Recreation
  • Wildlife and Habitat
  • Water Quality and Quantity
  • Historic and Cultural Resources

Wekiva River Management Plan

The Wekiva Wild and Scenic River System Management Plan serves as the basis for protecting a designated river’s values to ensure the river will be protected in perpetuity for future generations to enjoy. The Management Plan was developed by the Wekiva River System Advisory Management Committee (AMC) in collaboration with the National Park Service (NPS) to fulfill this enabling legislation requirement. Originally created in 2012, the plan was given a comprehensive update in 2023.

Help Us Protect The Wekiva River

River Ambassadors fill critical roles on behalf of the Wekiva Wild and Scenic River System Management Advisory Committee, providing essential visitor services and supporting an “on the water” stewardship program. These vounteer positions include:

  • Education & Outreach
  • River Patrol
  • Promotion of Stewardship
  • Resource Management