Estuaries Report Card
A guide to understanding the health of Southwest Florida’s rivers, estuaries and bays
Why It Matters
Southwest Florida is home to some of the most unique habitats and natural resources in America, making it a top destination for ecotourism, scientific research, and recreational enjoyment. It also hosts some of the most productive estuaries, and many species of wildlife, plant species and aquatic life rely on this area where freshwater meets saltwater. A mosaic of mangroves, freshwater wetlands, saltwater marshes, rivers, and streams intertwine with canals, coastal development, agriculture and other human-influenced environments to create an interrelated and challenging system to manage and preserve.
The beauty and productivity of Florida’s coastal ecosystems are driving forces in the state’s economic growth. Our economy, human health and our quality of life in Southwest Florida depend on the health of our waterways.