Deep Salt Springs
Werner Boyce State Park

Deep Salt Spring is in Werner Boyce State Park in Port Richey, Florida.  The cave is in a tidal marsh on the Florida Gulf coast along a popular kayaking trail approximately 100 feet upstream the “Tidal Waterfall” which is a natural limestone bridge that can be seen at low tide. The spring vent forms an irregular opening in the side wall of the marsh at its junction with the bottom just a few feet below the surface.  During low tide the spring will discharge fresher and clearer water and at high tide it will siphon the saltier marsh water into the cave below. The first 40 feet of the cave’s entrance is horizontal and has several major restrictions that can be challenging in low visibility encountered in this section of the cave. The cave is a steep vertical fissure the drops though a series of large chambers. The first large room is the Shag Room beginning at 127ffw, it is full or tannic brown water and easily identified by the dark brown biofilm covering the walls and ceiling resembling shag carpet.  At the bottom of the Shag Room is a halocline, the interface of fresh and salt water. Below the halocline the water has a slight hint of emerald green, giving the room its name.  The deepest room is the Emerald Room at a depth of 245-330ffw.

Facts of Deep Salt Springs – Werner Boyce State Park

  • Max Depth: 372 feet

  • Surveyed passage: About 2430 feet and growing

  • First Dived by Brett Hemphill, KUR President

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