Coastal Habitats & Species—Estuary in a Bottle

Summary: This lesson is a fun, hands-on activity to give students and introductory activity to better understand how salty ocean water and fresh water interact and mix in an estuary.

Concepts to teach: Tidal cycles, interconnectedness, estuaries

Goals: Students will be able to describe physical features of fresh, salty and estuary water and explain in simple terms how they mix in an estuary.

3.2E.1, 3.3S, 4.3S, 5.3S, 5.2P.1

Specific Objectives:

  1. Students will be able to describe what an estuary is and where the water comes from.
  2. Students will be able to name and describe two water quality parameters that affect estuary water.
  3. Students will investigate samples of water to determine their temperature and salinity as a measure of water quality.

Activity Links and Resources: