In 1968, acting upon growing public concern about threatened natural waterways, Congress passed the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act (WSRA) (Public Law 90-542). This Act recognizes the values of certain rivers and their associated ecosystems as outstanding natural treasures that must be protected for the enjoyment of future generations. Several rivers were designated for immediate protection and additional rivers were authorized for study as potential components of the federally protected system. Since then, Congress has amended the Act to either designate or authorize study of additional rivers.
In 1996, at the request of local advocates, Congress Passed Public Law 101-311 authorizing the study of the Wekiva River, Rock Springs Run, and Seminole Creek as possible additions to the National Wildand Scenic Rivers System. After the ―Wekiva River Study was completed and published in 1999, the Wekiva River together with Rock Springs Run, Wekiwa Springs Run, and Black Water Creek were designated by act of the United States Congress as a National Wild and Scenic River on October 13, 2000.
The Wekiva River together with Rock Springs Run, Wekiwa Springs Run, and Black Water Creek were selected for Wild and Scenic protection because they were found to be free-flowing and possessed five outstandingly remarkable values (ORVs) associated with the river environment. These values are: scenic, recreation, wildlife and habitat, historic and cultural, and water quality and quantity.