WEEKI WACHEE, Florida — A real-life mermaid is on a mission to protect the Springs.

  • Rita King still performing today as part of legendary Sirens
  • She says water being wasted, fish dwindling
  • Her goal is protecting Springs for future generations
  • Want to learn more? Email Rita King

For Rita King, becoming a Weeki Wachee mermaid was a dream come true.

"I wanted to be in the water. I wanted to be in the springs and let fish swim around me and it was just kind of neat," she said.

King was a mermaid from 1963-68, and she's still performing today as a member of the legendary Sirens for the last four years.

But she said the water is different now than what she remembers.

"It really was kind of sad to see all this algae in the Springs because we now have less vegetation and some of our fish species were disappearing," she said.

King knew she had to do something to help, so she's been holding informational sessions hoping to teach people.

"A lot of times people are just not aware of what's happening," she said. "We're just using way too much water and wasting it. Our water supply is dwindling, and the fish are dwindling because of the chemicals in the water."

King said it's all about making sure the Springs she loves are as beautiful as she remembers for future generations to enjoy.

"Sooner or later, if we don't change and try to do something about it, we're going to lose it," she said.

You can learn more informational sessions by emailing King.