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Estuaries and coastal waters are among the most productive ecosystems on Earth.

An estuary is the place where the mouth of a river enters the sea, causing fresh water and salt water to blend.[1] It a semienclosed coastal body of water with one or more rivers or streams.[2] Estuaries are wetlands that are productive ecosystems.


Tidal ebb and flow occur in an estuary[1] and it can be said that an estuary is the wide lower course of a river where its stream meets the tides.[3] The delta of the Ganges River in India is an example and takes on the form of an estuary with numerous tidal inlets.[4]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Sumner, Ray, ed. (2004). Geography Basics. 1. Pasadena, California: Salem Press. p. 382. ISBN 1-58765-178-5. 
  2. Spellman, Frank R (2010). Geography for Nongeographers. Lanham: The Scarecrow Press. p. 29. ISBN 978-1-60590-686-7. 
  3. Arreola, Daniel D. (senior consultant); Deal, Marci Smith (senior consultant); Petersen James F. (senior consultant); Sanders Rickie (senior consultant) (2007). World Geography. Evanston, IL: McDougal Littell. p. 203. ISBN 978-0-618-68998-9. 
  4. Arbogast, Alan F (2011). Discovering Physical Geography (2nd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons. p. 551. ISBN 978-0-470-52852-5.