estuary

That part of the mouth of a river where the river’s current meets the sea’s tide, and where salt and fresh waters mix, is the estuary. A pleasing word, lovelier than the brackish conditions it implies, for an estuary is defined by prosaic and precise measures of salinity. The true estuarine nature is divine: estuaries are nurseries where nascent marine life is nurtured and protected. Florida Bay, lying between the tip of peninsular Florida and the Upper Keys, is a large and important estuary whose health depends on fresh, clean water from the Everglades. Pollution and decades of flood control are turning this once crystalline and productive environment into a hypersaline, muddy, superheated lagoon.

Joy Williams

The early morning turned into a beautiful day. Breezy and bright, the blue sky was patched with large, sailing white clouds blown in from the Atlantic. The sun blinked in and out of these clouds, and during the morning the flood tide slowly filled the estuary, creeping up the sands, filling the tide pools, and finally, by about eleven o’clock, reaching the seawall below the house.

— Rosamunde Pilcher, The Carousel

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