Salt Marsh Facts and More
Salt Marsh Photos
Definition of a Coastal Salt Marsh
Coastal Salt Marsh: A coastal ecosystem in the upper inter tidal zone between open salt water (Brackish water) and land that stays constantly flooded by the ocean tides.
In flowing streams, lakes and rivers help to make and nourish mud flats and sand flats. Marshes can grown 20 feet above water level and actually cover enough water where it appears that it is on an island or some sort of stand. I must admit that going through a salt marsh is dirty and challenging to go through.
Salt marshes build up from the ocean when the tide comes in. The salt marsh will then have plants coming out of the area. This is area where the marsh will form. Salt marshes kind of always get a bad wrap but, salt marshes can be very beneficial and productive little habitats. They serve as a "dumping ground," for the large amounts of organic matter and other deposits that get hung up in the marsh. This becomes a feeding ground for various animals such as sheep and cattle.
People also can contribute to making the salt marsh a nasty place by making it their garbage disposal. Littering by throwing trash such as bottles, in the ocean, has caused the marsh to become a nasty wasteland. Trash gets caught up in the marsh.
One major problem with having large salt marshes, is they cause major mosquito problems by destroying killifish habitats (killifish is a mosquito predator). However, on a more positive note, marshes have been known to show a high rate of crab growth, as well as shrimp.
You will know when you are getting close to a salt marsh because, it will stink light rotten eggs. This rotten egg smell is caused by hypoxia (low oxygen level).And of course it will be foamy white.
There are salt marshes across the entire world, they have functions that are essential. It is however, sad to see the way insensitive people pollute and destroy our ecosystem.
Some unknowns about salt marshes is the fact that they can aid in flooding by slowing absorbing the rainwater. There have been many studies done on salt marshes from around the world by ecologist. The studies of these areas will continue into the future.
Have You Ever Been?
Have you ever been to a Salt Marsh?
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My Trip to the Gulf Shores, Alabama Coastal Salt Marsh
I was in ecology class in the 8th grade and we took a trip to The Salt Marsh in Gulf Shores, Alabama. The whole class walked through the salt marsh, and I remember walking through a slimy muddy, salty area that a came almost all the way to my chest. One person in my class lost a shoe and he dove down into the salty marsh to find his shoe.
Parts of the marsh had tall green plants growing out of it and lots of bushes. Although it was muddy and slimy, the top two inches of the marsh was formed with salt and you could literally taste it when you go close enough. It let's off a very distinct smell that you won't soon forget. After my fellow students and I got out of the marsh, we went and got in the ocean to clean off. A few of the students didn't get into the marsh at all or they didn't get in it very far. They thought it was just too dirty. We were advised in fact, to bring a change of clothes to change in to and we were told to wear something old that we wouldn't care to get messed up.
At the end of the trip, we all received a white T-shirt stating that we had survived the salt marsh. This was a very educational/fun trip. Our science teacher was great and very smart. Our class learned a lot about salt marshes especially because we were up close and personal with them.
* If you have ever been to a salt marsh I would love to hear your story. You can share your memories by leaving your thoughts in the comments capsule located at the bottom of this article.
Description of a Salt Marsh
Coastal Salt Marshes
Location of my Salt Marsh visit
© 2013 Buster Johnson