Module 10: Estuary Communities – Part 2

February 10, 2015  PowerPoint Honors Marine Biology Modular 10 Estuary Communities Part 2

Congratulations goes to Ethan for demonstration the best magic trick.  Thank you to all who participated!

Sarasota Bay is a beautiful 56-mile long coastal lagoon comprised of one large bay segment (Big Sarasota Bay) and several smaller embayments including Palma Sola Bay in the north and a series of three embayments (Roberts Bay, Little Sarasota Bay, and Blackburn Bay) to the south. The Bay has four inlets or passes (Venice Inlet, Big Sarasota Pass, New Pass and Longboat Pass).

Map of Sarasota Bay EstuaryEstuaries are semi-enclosed areas, such as bays and lagoons, where freshwater mixes with salt water from the sea. Teeming with life, our nation’s estuaries provide vital habitats for 80 percent of the world’s fish and shellfish species. Estuaries are an essential resource creating more food per acre than the richest farmland.

Estuary habitats are divided into three major habitats:

  1. Wetlands  (Salt Marshes and Mangrove Forests)
  2. Mudflats: Wide expanses of an estuary that are exposed during low tide.
  3. Channels: Water is present both during high and low tides.

The three types of organisms that can endure estuary conditions are classified as:

  1. Euryhaline:  Species that can tolerate a wide range of salinities.  There are many species which have life cycle requiring tolerance to both fresh water and seawater environments such as salmon and herring.
  2. Stenohaline:  Species that can tolerate a narrow range of salinities and describes an organism, usually fish, that cannot handle a wide fluctuation in the salt content of water.
  3. Brackish:  Water that is less salty than seawater but saltier than fresh water. Brackish water is the natural habitat for a diverse group of aquatic animals that have adapted to the environment.Many animals that thrive in brackish waters can cause health problems to humans who eat them.

Class members gave excellent oral presentations of estuaries from around the world.

1.   Drowned River Valleys (sometimes called coastal plain estuaries)

2.   Bar Build Estuary (barrier island)  (Sarasota Bay is an example)

3.   Fjords

4.   River Delta Estuary

5.   Tectonic Estuary (Basin that was filled with water)

Those students who did not give their presentations, be prepared to do so at our next class on February 17.


  • Take Module 10 Test
  • Begin reading Module 11 on Coral Reefs to page 269.
  • OYO:  11.1 to 11.6
  • Study guide:  define a-c  2-13
  • Class Challenge:  Best Joke
  • No Class Quiz

Have a good week! – Mrs. S

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