3.4 Estuaries Near Cities


eastern estuaries



Estuarine habitats are typically found where rivers meet the sea. Mouse over the image to see some of the estuarine areas highlighted in this tutorial. Click on image for more details and a larger image.

Estuaries are bodies of water and their surrounding coastal habitats typically found where rivers meet the sea. Estuaries harbor unique plant and animal communities because their waters are brackish—a mixture of fresh water draining from the land and salty seawater.

Estuaries are some of the most productive ecosystems in the world. Many animal species rely on estuaries for food and as places to nest and breed. Humans communities also rely on estuaries for food, recreation, and jobs.

Of the 32 largest cities in the world, 22 are located on estuaries (Ross, 1995). Not surprisingly, human activities have led to a decline in the health of estuaries, making them one of the most threatened ecosystems on Earth. NOAA’s National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS), in partnership with coastal states, monitors the health of estuaries, educates the public about these ecosystems, and helps communities manage their coastal resources.

Logs are loaded onto a truck for transporting to a milling plant in Superior National Forest in Minnesota

Estuaries are both beautiful and ecologically bountiful. Their natural expanses provide habitats for a wide range of animal and plant species.Click on image for more details and a larger image. (Photo: Old Woman Creek NEERS site)

iron contamination is apparent in the Idaho Blackbird Creek, Lemhi County, Idaho

New York City, with a population of over eight million people, is one example of a major urban area located on an estuary. Click on image for more details and a larger image. (Photo: Stanne/NYSDEC)

Estuaries Tutorial is an overview of estuarine habitats, the threats facing them, and efforts to monitor and protect estuaries nationwide.

The Roadmap to Resources complements the information in the tutorial by directing you to specific online estuary-related materials from NOAA and other reliable resources.

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Hilde gives us this great amount of information:

 An estuary is were the river and the ocean meat each other. The people who live close to estuaries or live right next to them will have more water than the people that do not live close to estuaries may not have as much water. It is true that there is more water next to estuaries is because estuaries are mostly made out of water. But there may be some challenges for these people too because of the amount of the amount of water that they have covering their land. This amount of water could cause floods in the towns, villages, and cities that are too close to this certain type of area were the water flows. All families and friends would have to participate in the damage that the water will cause in their home land where all of there schools, jobs, and day cares might be. The men would have to make a big wall of sand bags that could posibly stop the water from tearing down their homes and other places that need to stay there so that the people can survive while the mothers and children stay at home and help get ready.


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