In this activity, students investigate landforms and features associated with estuaries. They begin by taking a journey down a river to an estuary system where the river empties into the Gulf of Mexico near Weeks Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve to investigate how landforms differ between uplands and riverine–estuarine environments. Student teams then use Google Maps and other resources to engage in a scavenger hunt to locate and identify landforms and features of estuaries.
This activity has three parts:
- What Is an Estuary?
- A Trip Down the Alabama River
- Estuary Landform and Features ‒ Scavenger Hunt
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Students should understand that:
- Describe differences between upland non-estuarine and estuarine landforms and features.
- Visually identify and describe various landforms and features associated with estuarine environments, including salt marshes, barrier beaches, peninsulas, headlands, spits, mud flats, fjords, deltas, coves, harbors, sounds, and others.