Florida Estuaries

Florida Estuaries

If you are learning about Florida’s ecosystems, it can be tough to grasp all the enormous amounts of information, whether it’s simplified or not. But do not let that distract you from learning.

As we begin the September Issue, we will be learning more about Florida’s Estuaries and Estuarine habitats, but first, let’s understand what an estuary is. 

Florida estuaries are areas where the freshwater and saltwater mix. The water is generally partially enclosed or cut off from either the Atlantic Ocean or Gulf of Mexico. An estuary can also be called a bay, sound, inlet, harbor, lagoon, and include sloughs or channels.

Tampa Bay is Florida’s largest open-water estuary, extending over 400 square miles forming coastlines of Hillsborough, Manatee, and Pinellas counties. The bay’s freshwater sources are shared among hundreds of small tributaries. The second-largest bay in Florida is Charlotte Harbor Estuary which is combined in Charlotte County and Lee County. 

Florida has three research reserves as well and open to the public:

Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve and Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve.

These are quite large areas to explore and hopefully I will be able to visit at least one of them. I would love to be able share those personal experiences.

Throughout the month of September, I will be sharing some information about estuarine habitats focusing on the wildlife and plant species that inhabit them.


Links:

https://floridadep.gov/rcp/fcmp/content/national-estuary-program-links

Categories: Nature Photography

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