This is a map of estuaries in the Mid-Atlantic region of the U.S. eastern coast including the well-known Chesapeake Bay Estuary. Notice how the rivers get very wide as they get closer to the ocean? This is where the salt water of the ocean is mixing with the fresh water of the rivers.
Click on image for full size
Courtesy of the EPA.
Have you ever been swimming in the ocean? If you got any of the water in your mouth, you'll know that that water is SALTY
! Ocean water is salt water. Water found in rivers, lakes, creeks, and streams is called fresh water.
There is a special name for the environment where salt water and fresh water mix. The name is estuary.
A good example of an estuary is a salt marsh that is near the coast. Another example is when a river feeds directly into the ocean. The biggest estuary in the United States is Chesapeake Bay.
All kinds of plants and animals live in estuaries! And so it's important to protect these estuaries from pollution or damage.
Last modified June 1, 2010 by Lisa Gardiner.
You might also be interested in:
Almost 3/4 of the Earth is covered with water. Almost all of that water is in the oceans. Have you ever been swimming in the ocean? If you have and you accidentally got water in your mouth, you know the...more
Have you ever walked along the same beach at different times during the day? Did you notice that sometimes the water was higher up on the beach than at other times? Changes in the height of ocean water...more
Rivers are very important to Earth because they are major forces that shape the landscape. Also, they provide transportation and water for drinking, washing and farming. Rivers can flow on land or underground...more
An aquifer is the name for a layer of rock which is capable of holding a large amount of water. Some layers are better at holding water than others, for example a layer of sandstone can hold a good deal...more
Limestone is an example of a carbonate. Other examples of carbonates include calcite, dolomite, and marble. Limestone dissolves easily in rainwater, especially rainwater which is loaded with carbonic acid....more
The deep ocean waters are under pressure and are much colder than layers of the ocean which are closer to the surface. Dissolved carbon dioxide seems to be absent from the deep ocean water and as a result...more
Have you ever left a glass of water out for a long time? Did you notice that the water disappears after a few days? That's because it evaporated! Evaporation is when water passes from a liquid to a gas....more