SOWW contest First place winner 2018

Linda Breslin of Crystal River earned first place in the 2018 Save Our Waters Week photo contest with her photo of a young man fishing from the bow of a boat silhouetted against a majestic sunset on the Gulf of Mexico near the Salt River. Events for 2019 Save Our Waters Week begin Sept. 21.

Citrus County's 24th Annual Save Our Waters Week (SOWW), sponsored by Keep Citrus County Beautiful, Inc., will be Sept. 21-28 with the theme, “Make a Difference, Save Our Waters.” 

The week, which promotes public appreciation and awareness to save our irreplaceable waters, features 14 activities of which 13 are offered to the public free of charge. 

The week kicks off with the 30th Annual Lakes, Rivers and Coastal Cleanup on Saturday, Sept. 21. Individuals and groups are encouraged to participate in the clean up by emailing tracey.ivkovic@citrusbocc.com or calling 352-527-7620 prior to Sept. 6.  

The week concludes Saturday, Sept. 28 with the Sixth Annual National Estuaries Day Celebration featuring a wide variety of environmental oriented activities for adults and children at the Marine Science Center and a free presentation by water champion and advocate, Jacqui Thurlow Lippisch of Martin County, at the Old Courthouse Heritage Museum, Inverness. 

The week also features an essay contest, high school and middle school environmental jeopardy competitions, guest speaker program and guest commentaries in the Citrus County Chronicle. Scheduled activities are as follow

30th Annual Lakes, Rivers and Coastal Cleanup

From sunrise to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 21. Groups/organizations are encouraged to volunteer. Registration deadline Sept. 5. For an application call 352-527-7620 or email tracey.ivkovic@citrusbocc.com.

Eastside volunteer appreciation cookout

Saturday, Sept. 21, lunch served at 11:30 a.m.

All registered cleanup volunteers welcome. Lake Hernando Beach, 3699 E. Orange Dr., Hernando. For information call 352-419-1569. FREE.

Guided kayak tour of Kings Bay with springs team

10 a.m. to noon Monday, Sept. 23.

Launch from Hunter Springs Park for a guided tour to Three Sisters Springs while learning about the springs from some of the District's top scientists that work on the Springs Team. Sponsored by Southwest Water Management District. Reserve your seat by Sept. 9. To register, email Michele.Sager@WaterMatters.org or call 352-796-7211 ext. 4768. Capacity: 30. FREE.

Kayak tours

Tuesday, Sept. 24, Tours at 8 a.m., 10 a.m. & noon. Paddle quiet canals to Three Sisters Springs and back. Launch from A Crystal River Kayak Company, 1422 Bldg. B, SE US 19, Crystal River. To register, call 352-795-2255 (option 1). Capacity: 10 per tour. FREE ($10 deposit refunded at end of tour).

Eco boat tours, Crystal River Preserve State Park

Tuesday, Sept. 24, tours at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Experience an estuary boat tour on the Crystal River. Sponsored by Friends of Crystal River Parks, Inc. Depart from Crystal River Preserve State Park, 3266 N. Sailboat Ave., Crystal River. To register, call 352-228-6028. Capacity: 24 people per tour. FREE (Donations appreciated).

Guided eco tours

Tuesday, Sept. 24, Tours at 10 a.m.-1 p.m. & 3 p.m.-6.p.m.

Cruise through the incredible backwaters of Chassahowitzka and get a rare chance to see unspoiled Old Florida. Sponsored by Hunter Springs Kayaks on Hall’s River. Reserve by Sept.16. To register, call 352-228-4715, Munn.melissa@icloud.com or visit www.hunterspringskayaks.com/unique-guided-tours 

Capacity: 10. FREE.

High school environmental Jeopardy competition

7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 25.

Local high schools compete in testing their environmental knowledge. Public invited. Conference Center, College of Central Florida, Citrus Campus, 3800 S. Lecanto Hwy, Lecanto. For information, call 352-613-6850. FREE

Middle school environmental Jeopardy competition

7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 25.

Local middle schools compete in testing their environmental knowledge. Public invited. Conference Center, College of Central Florida, Citrus Campus, 3800 S. Lecanto Hwy, Lecanto. For information, call 352-613-6850. FREE

Nature cruise

10 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 25.

One-hour cruise down the Indian River/Canal to the Indian mounds. Sponsored by Crystal River Watersports. To register, visit www.CrystalRiverWatersports.com or call 352-795-7033. Capacity: 16 people. FREE ($10 deposit refunded at end of tour).

Eco boat tours, Crystal River Preserve State Park

Thursday, Sept. 26, tours at 10:30 am & 1:30 pm. Experience an estuary boat tour on the Crystal River. Sponsored by Friends of Crystal River Parks, Inc. Depart from Crystal River Preserve State Park, 3266 N. Sailboat Ave., Crystal River. To register, call 352-228-6028. Capacity: 24 people per tour. FREE (Donations appreciated).

Archeo-Eco kayak tour

8:30 a.m. - noon Friday, Sept. 27.

Explore Crystal River and Salt River archaeological sites. Depart from Crystal River Preserve State Park, 3266 N. Sailboat Ave., Crystal River. To register, email Nigel Rudolph snrudolph@usf.edu. Cost: $25 for kayak rental visit https://rentaboatatsoww19kayaktour.eventbrite.com; $20 your own kayak visit https://bringyourownboatsoww19kayaktour.eventbrite.com.

Sixth Annual National Estuaries Day celebration

9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Sept. 28.

Learn about local estuary communities through a variety of activities for kids and adults. Free boat ride to the Marine Science Station to explore grounds and aquarium. Climb its Estuary Tower for a bird’s eye view of our expansive estuary system. Reservations not required. For information, email Jamie.Letendre@FloridaDEP.gov or call 352-228-6032. Visitors must park at the Crystal River Preserve State Park Visitor Center, 3266 North Sailboat Avenue, Crystal River. FREE.

Jacqui Thurlow Lippisch presentation

3 to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28.

Water champion and advocate, Jacqui Thurlow Lippisch of Martin County speaks to what it takes to make a difference in saving our waters and empowers listeners to do the same. Old Courthouse Heritage Museum, Inverness. Sponsored in part by Inverness Cultural Heritage Council. To register, call 352-341-642 or visit cchistoricalsocietyshop.com. Capacity: 150 people. FREE.

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