As if to grasp the coastline, the ocean reaches out for the land, with estuaries as its fingers and hands. In this unique nexus – characterized by the dynamic mixing of salt and freshwater in tidal cycles – abundant life is created and nurtured.
They are renowned for the young fish and shellfish that they rear, but it is also our own youthful spirit that is nourished by sailing, fishing, swimming or relaxing in a placid marsh or rocky shore. We are from the sea, and are continually lured back to its edge, unable to defy the kinship we share with this place.
And yet, no place on earth more directly embodies the challenge of balancing our own lives with the lives of our fellow species than estuaries. By 2075, 75% of our nation will live within 50 miles of the coast. Without delay, we must solve the conundrum of developing coastlines while also protecting and restoring the very habitat that draws us there.
It’s time to devote ourselves to our coasts – which are increasingly OUR primary habitat. This will require no less than redefining our relationship with these special places. We hope you enjoy your journey into the amazing world of estuaries – our coastal sanctuaries.
Jeff Benoit, President