Where the River Meets the Sea

An estuary is a coastal area where freshwater from rivers and streams mixes with saltwater from the ocean. This mix — called brackish water — helps to create one of the most diverse and productive ecosystems on the planet. 

Estuaries are typically filled with shallow, protected waters. Conditions are ideal for young fish before they head out toward the open ocean and many seabirds nest in estuaries. You’ll find two estuaries within the Yakona Nature Preserve.

Along with providing a thriving habitat for wildlife, many estuaries also offer protection from large storms by creating a natural barrier that absorbs large waves and prevents them from causing dangerous flooding.