A Note To Parents: We make every effort for Roxanne's blog to be a SAFE site for children. Whenever possible, activities are in pdf format or link to safe sites for children. Please feel free to use the information in these posts for homeschool studies! All rights reserved by author and nature photographer, Virginia Parker Staat.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Our Coastal Waters

Our coastal wetlands, where the land meets the sea, are very important. They are home to lots of wildlife. They protect our shores. They clean the environment. They provide food for our tables.

There are many different types of coastal wetlands. They include the barrier islands along the Gulf of Mexico, like Padre Island in Texas and Grand Isle in Louisiana. These long, narrow islands protect the coast from storms that wash away the shoreline.

Our coastal wetlands also include tidal flats, bays, marshes, and bayous. The water in these wetlands can be salty, a mix of salt and fresh, or fresh water. Normally they also have lots of plant life growing in them.

The Gulf of Mexico coast is filled with wildlife. Our coastal wetlands are home to millions of birds. Between 60-90% of all U.S. commercial fishers are located along the coastal wetlands.

Marine wildlife love the shallow bays and marshlands along the Gulf. They go to the wetlands to have their babies or to lay their eggs.

Oysters and clams grow in the wetlands. They filter out tons of pollutants from the Gulf waters.

Here are some great activity books to learn more about the Gulf of Mexico's coastal waters and wildlife:

To learn about Texas wetlands, go to http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/publications/pwdpubs/media/pwd_bk_k0700_0908.pdf

To learn about Louisiana's coast, go to http://coastalscience.noaa.gov/education/labook.pdf

To learn about Alabama's coast, go to http://coastalscience.noaa.gov/education/mbbook.pdf

To learn about Florida's coast, go to http://www.dep.state.fl.us/beaches/publications/pdf/actbook.pdf

Have fun!!!

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