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Estuaries

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  1. Estuaries Miles Bryan Matthew Okoneski Justin McCotter

  2. Definition of Estuary • Estuary: Any body of water where freshwater and saltwater mix. • Transition area from land to sea • Often called bays, lagoons, and sounds • Ex: Pamlico sound, Chesapeake Bay • Contains many different habitats

  3. a.) drowned river valley b.) former glaciated valley c.) lagoon separated from ocean d.) fault flooded by ocean Origin of Estuaries

  4. Classification of Estuaries • Vertically mixed: • shallow, low volume, constant salinity with depth • Slightly stratified: • deeper • upper layer less salty, lower layer more salty • Highly stratified: • deep, strong halocline • Salt wedge: • deep, high volume • Strong halocline

  5. Importance of Estuaries • Provides habitats • Nurseries • Areas for migratory birds • Filters water • Sediments and pollutants • Stabilize shoreline • Human Benefit

  6. Fish: Black Sea Bass Menhaden Flounder Sea Trout Use estuaries as breeding grounds and food sources Biological Diversity

  7. Birds Migratory Birds Tundra Swans Sea Ducks Canada Geese Water Fowl Egrets Herons Important to threatened species Biological Diversity

  8. Plants: Submerged Plants Produce oxygen Provide food source Trees Cypress Tupelo Swamp maple trees Grasses Black needle rush Cordgrass Purify water Biological Diversity

  9. Shellfish Oysters Clams Stone crabs Grass shrimp Scallops Marine worms Filter water, secure sediment, recycle nutrients, provide juvenile fish habitats Biological Diversity

  10. Microbes Algae Phytoplankton Dinoflagellates Base of food chain Contribute to sediments Recycle nutrients Biological Diversity: Keystone Species

  11. Eutrophication Increase in nutrients Causes harmful overgrowth Toxicants Harmful substances, metals, and other organic material Pathogens Cause disease (pfiesteria) Corrupt food chain Human Involvement: Types of Pollution

  12. Point source vs. non-point source Human development Industrial/agricultural waste Natural pollutants Human involvement: Causes of Pollution

  13. Dredging- use of boats and/or machines to remove sediment from bottom of river bays, etc. Disturbs habitats Removes nutrients Removes organisms Disturbs natural flow of water Human Involvement: Dredging