In this activity, students will compare and contrast the estuary mouth closures taking place at the Los Peñasquitos Lagoon and Tijuana River Research Reserve. By comparing these two different sites, students learn how mouth closures affect aquatic life in the estuaries. Specifically, students will see how mouth closures affect specific measurements of water quality, such as dissolved oxygen, within the estuaries.
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Students should understand that:
- Recognize that movement of sediment at the mouth of an estuary will either open or close the estuary’s access to its lake or ocean.
- Infer that the lack of tidal flushing can cause water conditions, such as the level of dissolved oxygen in a lagoon, to deteriorate. This can harm aquatic life inside the estuary.
- Recall that if an estuary mouth is unable to open naturally, it is sometimes necessary to open the mouth artificially by dredging.