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Estuaries occur where freshwater rivers meet the sea. These transition zones are continually enriched is by tidal flooding and the influx of nutrients from the land. This makes estuaries one of the most biologically rich habitats on earth.

Conditions in some estuarine zones are challenging for plant growth, creating non-vegetated mud and sand flats full of invertebrates. Millions of migrating and wintering shorebirds, such as Dunlin and Western Sandpiper, rely on these mudflats. In other estuarine zones, plants are able to thrive and create salt or brackish marshes that are ideal habitats for foraging and nesting. Eelgrass beds in particular are highly productive areas for Brant and other waterfowl and waterbirds.


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