Why are Estuaries Important | Types of Estuaries | Threats to Estuaries

What Is Estuary?

An estuary is a coastal body of saltwater that has a free connection with the open sea and within which seawater is measurably diluted with freshwater derived from land sources. Estuaries are coastal bodies of water with fresh and saltwater mixing together.

The word “estuary” can be broken down into two parts: “estu-” meaning river or tidal current; “-ary” meaning relating to or resembling something (in this case an estuary). So in order for a body of water to be considered an estuary, it must meet

Estuaries are made up of freshwater from rivers and streams mixing with salt water from the ocean or another body of water like an estuary does in nature when it meets a river mouth to form a brackish mix of freshwater and seawater (or freshwater).

Types of Estuaries

Estuaries are coastal bodies of water that have a large volume of fresh water and seawater mixing together There are three types of estuaries:

  • Tidal
  • Freshwater
  • Saltwater

Tidal estuaries are the most common type; they’re created when a river meets the ocean or sea

 Freshwater estuaries form when rivers meet lakes or other sources of freshwater

Saltwater estuaries occur where two different seas mix

Threats to Estuaries

There are three main threats to estuaries: pollution, overfishing, and climate change. These treats are explained below;

  • Estuaries are sensitive environments that can be threatened by natural and man-made events
  • Natural threats to estuaries include storm surges, tsunamis, earthquakes, and landslides
  • Man-made threats to estuaries include pollution from agricultural runoff, urban runoff, sewage discharge, and industrial waste

Why Are Estuaries So Productive

Estuaries, which are the places where freshwater rivers meet the ocean, are often thought to be wastelands. However, they’re actually incredibly productive ecosystems that provide a variety of benefits for people and wildlife.

One reason estuaries are so productive is that there’s a constant supply of nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus from both fresh water and saltwater sources. These nutrients fuel algae blooms in the summertime when sunlight is strongest – this means that estuaries serve as an important carbon sink since algae can store more than 20 times its weight in carbon dioxide.

Estuaries also offer great fishing grounds for humans as well as sheltering habitat for fish such as salmon who use them to spawn and raise their young before returning upstream with

What Is The Importance Of Estuaries?

  • Estuaries are important because they provide a home for many different species of fish, plants, and other animals. Estuaries are important because they provide a home for many different types of animals.
  • They also provide protection from storms and floods
  • Estuaries help to filter water by trapping sediments, nutrients, and other pollutants that would otherwise end up in the ocean or freshwater bodies
  • They are important because they provide a habitat for many types of plants, animals, and microorganisms.
  • They also provide humans with food from the fish that live there.
  • Estuaries can be polluted by chemicals such as pesticides or fertilizers which can harm the ecosystem
  •  They also clean the water that flows into them by trapping sediment and pollutants from the land before it reaches the ocean or another body of water.

Reasons Why We Need To Protect And Conserve Estuaries

  • Estuaries provide habitat for many species of plants and animals
  • Estuaries are important to the local economy, especially in coastal communities
  •  Estuaries filter pollutants from water before it reaches the ocean
  • The health of estuaries depends on a balance between fresh and saltwater
  • Coastal development has increased stormwater runoff, which can lead to erosion and flooding
  •  Estuaries are the most productive ecosystems on earth and provide food for  millions of people worldwide.
  • Estuaries are the nurseries of many marine species, including fish and shellfish
  • Human activities have increased sedimentation in estuaries by as much as 3 times over historic levels, causing them to become choked with mud and silt that blocks sunlight from reaching plants below the surface
  • The health of an estuary is closely related to its surrounding watersheds

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