American Coasts in Fair to Poor Condition – Environment News Service
Estuaries across the United States are in fair condition overall, but conditions are poor in the estuaries of the Northeast coast and Puerto Rico regions, four federal resources agencies say in a new report on the coastal environment that is issued only once every four years.
The 2005 National Coastal Condition Report released on Monday is a comprehensive report on the condition of the nation’s estuarine waters and coastal fisheries. It shows poor to fair conditions in the Great Lakes, fair conditions in the Gulf coast, Great Lakes, and West coast, and good conditions in the Southeast coast.
Estuaries are transition zones between the fresh water of a river and the saline environment of the sea, receiving freshwater and sediment from rivers and tidal influx from the oceans. This interaction produces a unique environment that supports wildlife and fisheries and contributes to the economy of coastal areas.