What is an estuary?
Estuaries are bodies of water along the beaches that are formed when freshwater from rivers flows into and mixes with saltwater from the ocean. Tides may rise and fall in the estuary, making this area a unique ecosystem rich in nutrients. Only certain types of plants, such as saltwort, eelgrass, and salt grass can grow there, and few animals can live their entire lives there. However, mud shrimp, certain types of mussels, and the Western sandpiper all call estuaries home.