Student Scientist TestAug 2nd, 2011 | Category: Student Scientists
Many of our ecotour guests are surprised to learn that the Indian River Lagoon is North America’s most diverse estuary system and has been designated as an Estuary of National Significance. Here, where salt and fresh water mingle, are more than 4,000 species of plants and animals, including 35 listed as threatened or endangered. Mangrove plants line shorelines and provide habitat for many species of animals and invertebrates. Birds such as osprey, pelicans, ibis, herons, roseate spoonbills or even bald eagles are commonly seen. In the estuary, bottlenose dolphins chase pods of baitfish, and manatees charm us with their slow-moving gentle ways as they swim with their newborns. Numerous species of fish live in the Indian River Lagoon, including mullet that leap from the water and the predators that savor them, such as saltwater trout and redfish. Sea turtles traverse the River. Each outing is a new adventure as the estuary reveals its seasonal treasures.