The Problem With Estuaries. Why Are Estuaries So Important?. Interface between land, ocean, and rivers Vital habitat for fish, shellfish, waterfowl Contain some of the most productive ecosystems on the planet Transportation routes and recreational opportunities for humans
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Estuaries provide habitat for more than 75% of America's commercial fish catch, and for 80-90% of the recreational fish catch (5). Estuarine-dependent fisheries are among the most valuable within regions and across the nation, worth more than $1.9 billion in 1990, excluding Alaska (4). Nationwide, commercial and recreational fishing, boating, tourism, and other coastal industries provide more than 28 million jobs (2). Commercial shipping alone employed more than 50,000 people as of January, 1997 (5). There are 25,500 recreational facilities along the U.S. coasts (5)- almost 44,000 square miles of outdoor public recreation areas (4). The average American spends 10 recreational days on the coast each year. In 1993 more than 180 million Americans visited ocean and bay beaches- nearly 70% of the U.S. population. Coastal recreation and tourism generate $8 to $12 billion annually (5) In just one estuarine system- Massachusetts and Cape Cod Bays- commercial and recreational fishing generate about $240 million per year. In that same estuary, tourism and beach-going generate $1.5 billion per year, and shipping and marinas generate $1.86 billion per year (3).
Physical & Chemical Sampling Biological
-Dissolved Oxygen -Water Quality
-Salinity -Habitat Quality
-pH -Benthic Organisms
-Turbidity -Planktonic “
-Water Temperature -Intertidal “
-Stream Discharge -Fecal Bacteria