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Estuaries

This page provides links to non-EPA web sites that provide additional information about Estuaries. You will leave the EPA.gov domain and enter another page with more information. EPA cannot attest to the accuracy of information on that non-EPA page. Providing links to a non-EPA Web site is not an endorsement of the other site or the information it contains by EPA or any of its employees. Also, be aware that the privacy protection provided on the EPA.gov domain (see Privacy and Security Notice) may not be available at the external link. Click icon for EPA disclaimer. 

The links below contain information on estuaries. An estuary is a partially enclosed coastal body of water where freshwater from the land measurably dilutes saltwater from the ocean. This mixture of water types creates a unique environment that is critical for the survival of many species of fish, birds, and other wildlife. They provide safe spawning grounds and nurseries for fish and shellfish, ideal resting and refueling places for migratory birds, and habitat for many reptiles, amphibians and mammals. Marshes and other wetlands, which often fringe estuaries, protect marine life and water quality by filtering sediment and pollution from upstream sources. Estuaries also create natural protection to coasts and shorelines from damaging storm waves and floods.

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