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  Estuary and Bay Communities

Estuary (From a word meaning ""boiling"") are where rivers meet the ocean, dynamic systems where waters are variably saltier and fresher. They constitute some of the most productive habitats in nature. More than 70% of Florida's recreationally and commercially important fish and shellfish spend part of their lives in these sheltered and fertile waters. Estuaries can be called ""The Cradle of the Ocean"". These communities include sea grass, Oyster Bars, salt marshes, mud and sand bottom, and algal growths. Shellfish like Oysters, Crabs, Peneid Shrimp and other valuable shellfish, can not grow without a certain amount of fresh water. The quality of the water pouring into the estuaries is a major concern - If incoming water is tainted by bacteria and viruses from human and animal wastes, pesticides, or other pollutanats, Oysters and Clams that look perfectly healthy may transmit diseases. What comes around goes around…. Let's keep it clean…!

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