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estuaries

This collection contains a selection of content from NG Education about estuaries. Use search to find more.

Freshwater estuaries are a unique ecosystem. They form as a freshwater river or creek empties into a large lake. The different chemicals and temperatures of the river and lake waters create the estuary. Old Woman Creek National Estuarine Research Reserve, near Huron, Ohio, is the only reserve that monitors a freshwater estuary: where Old Woman Creek empties into Lake Erie.

Photograph by Rich Delombard, MyShot

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Oyster Spat
Article
EDUCATION

Oyster Spat

Young oysters play a shell game.

  • Best for: Grades 3+ (ages 8+)
  • Concepts: estuaries, marine animals, oysters, oyster spat
Hudson-Raritan Estuary
Article
EDUCATION

Hudson-Raritan Estuary

A map of the Hudson-Raritan estuary of New York and New Jersey. The estuary is the drainage point for the Hudson River and surrounds much of New York City.

  • Best for: Grades 4+ (ages 9+)
  • Concepts: bays, estuaries, hudson river, new york, rivers, watersheds
Chesapeake Bay Map Gallery
Article
EDUCATION

Chesapeake Bay Map Gallery

A gallery of black and white reproducible maps of the Chesapeake Bay estuary and watershed in the eastern United States.

  • Concepts: atlantic ocean, bays, chesapeake bay, estuaries, maryland, pennsylvania, rivers, tributaries, virginia, watersheds
First Tidal Power Station Opens
Historic Article
EDUCATION

First Tidal Power Station Opens

On November 26, 1966, French President Charles de Gaulle opened the world’s first tidal power station on the Rance Estuary in Brittany, France.

  • Best for: Grades 6-12 (ages 11-18)
  • Concepts: electricity, estuaries, france, ocean, power plants, sustainability, tidal energy, tides
John Smith Map of 1612
Image
EDUCATION

John Smith Map of 1612

Starting in 1607, Captain John Smith set about exploring and describing the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. This map, published in 1612, would become the primary cartographic resource on the region for nearly seven decades. 

  • Best for: Grades 3+ (ages 8+)
  • Concepts: chesapeake bay, chesapeake bay past and present, chesapeake bay watershed, colonization, estuaries, john smith, maps, virginia
Transportation Lines of the Chesapeake Bay
Image
EDUCATION

Transportation Lines of the Chesapeake Bay

  The United States Board of Engineers for Rivers and Harbors created this map in 1926 to highlight the transportation lines of the Chesapeake Bay.  They included many means of transportation that were used during this time, including steamboat lines, ferries, and railroads.

  • Concepts: chesapeake bay, chesapeake bay past and present, estuaries, transportation network, watersheds
John Smith's Exploration Routes in the Chesapeake Bay
Image
EDUCATION

John Smith's Exploration Routes in the Chesapeake Bay

This map was created by National Geographic, for the book Voices from Colonial America: Maryland, 1643-1776, to demonstrate what this area was like before John Smith’s voyages as well as the routes of his voyage.  Until John Smith's exploratory voyages of the Chesapeake Bay in 1608 and 16...

  • Concepts: chesapeake bay, chesapeake bay past and present, colonization, estuaries, john smith, maps
Satellite Image of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed
Image
EDUCATION

Satellite Image of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed

  USGS scientists use this satellite image of the entire 64,000-square-mile drainage basin of the Chesapeake Bay to provide a snapshot of surface conditions, including vegetation that can be compared with historical and future images to help produce a report card of progress or setbacks in meeting ...

  • Concepts: chesapeake bay past and present, chesapeake bay watershed, estuaries, land cover, satellite imagery
Land Cover of the Chesapeake Bay
Image
EDUCATION

Land Cover of the Chesapeake Bay

  This map was created by the Environmental Protection Agency to delineate the Chesapeake Bay and the land cover that can be found in this area. The National Land Cover Database (NLCD) 2001 is created by partitioning the U.S. into 66 mapping zones delineated within the conterminous U.S. based on ec...

  • Concepts: chesapeake bay past and present, chesapeake bay watershed, estuaries, land cover, maps
Sea Level, Climate Change, and the Chesapeake Bay
Image
EDUCATION

Sea Level, Climate Change, and the Chesapeake Bay

  National Geographic created this map to show how potential relative sea level rise in the Chesapeake Bay may make certain areas vulnerable to inundation. The Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuary in the United States and one of the world’s most biologically rich and productive. For decades, becau...

  • Concepts: chesapeake bay, chesapeake bay past and present, climate change, estuaries, maps, sea-level rise
Lying in Wait
Photo
EDUCATION

Lying in Wait

Crocodile lies in the mud in front of a raft of ducks.

  • Concepts: australia, camouflage, crocodiles, ducks, estuaries, national parks
Glacial Estuary
Photo
EDUCATION

Glacial Estuary

Photo: Glacier near an estuary.

  • Concepts: alaska, arctic ocean, bays, estuaries, fjords, glaciers
Parker River
Photo
EDUCATION

Parker River

Photo: Boat in salt marsh.

  • Concepts: atlantic ocean, boats, estuaries, massachusetts, rivers
Jakarta
Photo
EDUCATION

Jakarta

Photo: Hi-rise buildings tower over a port.

  • Concepts: boats, cities, environment, estuaries, indonesia, jakarta, urban areas
Puget Sound
Photo
EDUCATION

Puget Sound

Photo: Fjord of bright blue water.

  • Concepts: estuaries, fjords, washington
Freshwater Estuary
Photo
EDUCATION

Freshwater Estuary

Photo: Creek empties into lake.

  • Concepts: ecosystems, estuaries, rivers
estuary
Article
EDUCATION

estuary

An estuary is an area where a freshwater river or stream meets the ocean. When freshwater and seawater combine, the water becomes brackish, or slightly salty.

  • Best for: Grades 6+ (ages 11+)
  • Concepts: brackish water, ecosystems, estuaries, ocean, rivers, wetlands
Minas Basin
Article
EDUCATION

Minas Basin

The incoming tide of the Minas Basin rushes in on bay mud.

  • Best for: Grades 5+ (ages 10+)
  • Concepts: basins, bay mud, bays, estuaries, geology, glaciers, minas basin, physical geography, silt, tides
Ecosystem Invaders: Spartina
Article
EDUCATION

Ecosystem Invaders: Spartina

An invasive Spartina plant nearly choked San Francisco Bay before being effectively reduced through environmental stewardship.

  • Best for: Grades 6+ (ages 11+)
  • Concepts: ecosystems, estuaries, hybrids, invasive species, san francisco, spartina
Mapping Diversity in Old and New Netherland
Activity
EDUCATION

Mapping Diversity in Old and New Netherland

Students watch video segments to learn about the 17th century Dutch colony of New Netherland. Then they map the sources of diversity in the colony.

  • Best for: Grades 9+ (ages 14+)
  • Concepts: diversity, netherlands, new netherland, new york, settlers
Exploring Early Manhattan Through Art
Activity
EDUCATION

Exploring Early Manhattan Through Art

Students analyze two paintings by artist Len Tantillo depicting early Manhattan in the 1650-1660s. Then they discuss how art can reveal geographic information about place.

  • Best for: Grades 6-8 (ages 11-14)
  • Concepts: dutch settlement, henry hudson, hudson river valley, manhattan, new amsterdam
tidal bore
Article
EDUCATION

tidal bore

A tidal bore occurs along a coast where a river empties into an ocean or sea

  • Best for: Grades 4+ (ages 9+)
  • Concepts: coasts, currents, estuaries, ocean, rivers, tidal bores, tidal waves, tides
Back to the Bottom
Article
EDUCATION

Back to the Bottom

The New York-New Jersey Baykeeper's oyster restoration program is trying to rebuild oyster reefs within the Hudson-Raritan Estuary.

  • Best for: Grades 4+ (ages 9+)
  • Concepts: animals, ecosystems, estuaries, habitats, hudson river, new jersey, new york, oysters, reintroduction