What are bays, estuaries and marshes?
The San Antonio Bay is a great example of the uniqueness and complexity of the bay and estuary systems.
The bay has circular tides, which causes different levels of salinity (salt content) and also drives the cycling of nutrients.
An estuary is a partially enclosed body of water where streams or rivers enter and mix freshwater with saltwater. This mixture of freshwater and saltwater is called brackish water. Conditions in an estuary are ever-changing and provide unique environments that support a diverse community of plants and wildlife.
A marsh is low-lying land that floods during wet seasons and high-tides. It typically remains waterlogged year-round. The marsh is critical, because it is made of sediment containing nutrients important for vegetation and wildlife. The vegetation allows natural erosion and deposition to take place.