The state’s first Springs Protection Zone was approved this week by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission for Nichols Spring and its spring run to the Withlacoochee River in Sumter County, according to an agency press release.
Nichols Spring is a second-magnitude spring that is surrounded by land owned the family of former Florida Sen. Charles Dean, an advocate for spring protection in Florida.
The action came after state officials had determined that anchoring, mooring, beaching and grounding vessels along the shoreline had caused damage to vegetation in and around the spring. Those activities will be prohibited in the protection zone.
This will not prohibit public access to the spring and will not restrict the use of rafts or inner tubes, FWC officials said, vessels will have to be moored outside the protection zone.