Characteristics of Estuaries

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					           Characteristics of Estuaries
Estuaries are partially enclosed,
 coastal bodies of water where
freshwater and saltwater meet.



                           Examples include bays, lagoons,
                           inlets, and harbors, though these
                                are not always estuaries.


 Thousands of wildlife species
depend on estuaries, using them
  as places to live, feed, and
          reproduce.
        Where can you find
           estuaries?
• Found along
  coastlines where
  fresh water has
  access to the
  ocean.

• The majority of
  estuaries in the U.S.
  are found on the
  East Coast.
         Human Impacts
• Humans have long been attracted to
  estuaries. Considered wastelands,
  estuaries were modified to accommodate
  our housing, transportation, and
  agricultural needs.
• Modifications polluted waters and
  threatened ecosystems.
 Endangered Animals
  Estuaries themselves are an
      endangered biome

Many species of animals that call
   estuaries their home are
 consequentially endangered
West Indian Manatee

 • Scientific name: Trichechus manatus
   latirostris
 • Also called sea cow
 • Endangered species
 • Only 1,435 make florida their winter
   home
 • The manatee needs more protection
   from harmful boats and development
American                                            Alligator
                                                                 Threatened
Scientific name: Alligator                                       species by
mississipiensis                                                  federal acts,
                                                                 species of
                                                                 special
                                                                 concern by
                                                                 state acts


Alligator
                                                          •Only one million
remains in                                                alligators live in
protective                                                florida now
status
because it
resembles
the                                                          Protection of
crocodile                    Species on the rebound          their habitat
(there are                   after almost being extinct      (wetlands) and
only 500                     30 years ago                    strict regulations
crocodiles                                                   on poaching
in florida)                                                  helped
                                                               •Another
DID YOU KNOW?                                                  name for
                                                               estuary is
                                            ?   ?              fjord
                            ?
?
                    ?               ?                          (pronounced
                                                               fiord)
    ?                                                    •The Chesapeake
                    ?
                                                         bay estuary is the
    ?                                                    largest estuary in
                                                         the US
                ?       ?                           •Estuaries are among
?                                                   the most productive
            ?                                       systems in the world
    ?                                               •   Fishing, tourism
                ?                                       and recreational
                                                        boating in estuaries
?                   ?                                   provide more than
            ?
                                                        28 million jobs for
                                                        our nation.
    ?       ?
                                                        Commercial and
                                                        sport fishing alone
?                       ?                               contribute $111
                                        ?               billion yearly to the
        ?                       ?                       nation's economy.
                                                                      •San
                           Inspiring Facts                            Francisco Bay
                                                                      - 95% of its
                                                                      original
                                                                      wetlands have
                                                                      been
                                                                      destroyed;
                                                                      only 300 of
                                                                      the original
                                                                      6,000 miles of
                                                                      stream habitat
                                                                      in the Central
                                                                      Valley support
    •Narraganset                                                      spawning
    Bay - 70% of                                                      salmon
    salt marshes
    are being cut
    off from full
    tidal flow                                                   •Louisiana
                                                                 estuaries -
                                                                 continue to lose
                                                                 25,000 acres
•   Chesapeake Bay -                                             annually of
    90% of sea grass       Hudson-Raritan Estuary - 75% of the   coastal marshes
    meadows were           original tidal marshes have been      (roughly the size
    destroyed by 1990;
    in 30 years, oyster    destroyed in both New York and New    of Washington,
    harvest fell from 25   Jersey, and 99% of New York's fresh   DC)
    million pounds to 1    wetlands are gone
    million

				
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posted:12/9/2011
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