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COASTAL ZONE • Supratidal mark to the continental shelf • Warm, nutrient-rich, shallow water • Supports 90% of all marine ecosystems
TYPES OF SALT WATER LIFE ZONES • Estuaries and Tidal • Coastal Wetlands • Rocky Shores • Barrier Islands • Coral Reefs • Mangrove Swamps
WHAT IS AN ESTUARY? • "An estuary is a semi-enclosed coastal body of water that extends to the effective limit of tidal influence, within which sea water entering from one or more free connections with the open sea, or any other saline coastal body of water, is significantly diluted with fresh water derived from land drainage, and can sustain euryhaline biological species from either part or the whole of their life cycle."(Perillo, 1995).
COASTAL ZONE SALT MARSHES • Since 1900, the world has lost more than ½ of it’s coastal wetlands. • 75 % of the world population lives in the coastal zone (high tide – continental shelf) • Salt marshes and littoral zone support greatest net primary productivity for coastal environments. • Net primary productivity in the ocean is very low, BUT because it covers over 70% of Earth’s surface, COLLECTIVELY it makes the largest contribution to the Earth’s overall net primary productivity
SALT MARSH ZONATION PEAT
Ten Ways to Protect Estuariestaken from the National Estuary Program • 1. Learn more about estuaries. • 2. Keep septic systems working properly.Pump your system every three years. • 3. Pave less.Hard surfaces hasten runoff and increase pollution and erosion. • 4. Adhere to "no-wake" zones when on your boat.Waves destroy shorelines and increase erosion. • 5. Think before you pour.Many hazardous products flow from household drains through sewage treatment plants and into coastal bodies of water. • 6. Fish respectfully.Follow "catch and release" practices and keep more fish alive. • 7. Create non-toxic pesticides.A bit of soap and water does the job and keeps harmful chemicals from ending up in nearby waterways. • 8. Use native plants.Garden and landscpae with plants native to your area to reduce the need for watering and fertilizing. • 9. Respect habitat.Treat the homes of vital marine life with care. Habitat and survivial go hand-in-hand. When habitat disappears, so do many plants and animals. • 10. Take action!Organize a stream or beach cleanup. Encourage your local newspaper to write a story, or ask an expert to speak at your community organization or local school.