The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency developed this Web site to introduce kids of various ages to the ecology of estuaries. Teachers also can use this resource in the classroom to enhance their lesson plans and activities. Overall, the site is designed to illustrate the many different types of estuaries and the complexity of challenges facing them today. The Web site is part of a broader effort by the National Estuary Program to educate the general public about estuaries and to restore and protect these sensitive ecosystems.
This Web site provides a wealth of introductory information about estuaries. It offers interactive games and activities as well as hands-on tours of specific estuaries around the country. A glossary page defines technical terms used throughout the site. Resources also are provided for teachers and students interested in learning more about related organizations, publications, and Web sites.
Although many of the plants and animals you see on this Web site look like photographs, they are actually taken from a dramatic original illustration by naturalist and painter John Dawson. The painting includes more than 100 different plants and animals that live in estuaries. It also shows several different types of estuaries—from the rocky shores of the Pacific Northwest to the warm beaches of the Gulf Coast. EPA incorporated the painting into a poster entitled, Estuaries: Scenes of Transition, complete with a key of scientific names for many of the plants and animals found in the painting. You can meet the artist and view photos of the painting being created or learn more about how to obtain a copy of the poster.