The Salt Marsh

Salt marshes are found around the world, but the one you are about to tour can be found right here in South Carolina on the North American continent. Salt marshes are located only along the coast. This is because a salt marsh is an area that is flooded by saline (salty) water. The salt marshes are better developed as you move farther south in South Carolina.

Threats of the Marsh | The Salt Marsh
Threats of the Marsh | The Salt Marsh

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Pesticides, manure, and fertilizers run off farm fields and enter the food chain of the marsh. Chemicals from factories are also added to the rivers and end up downstream in the salt marsh, where they...
Biomagnification | The Salt Marsh
Biomagnification | The Salt Marsh

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How can low levels of DDT in farm fields end up at high levels in ospreys? Several different pesticides, an example of which is DDT, can be biomagnified by the food chain. The pesticides are used to...
Tides | The Salt Marsh
Tides | The Salt Marsh

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Tides flood into the salt marsh twice a day and bring salty water from the sea. Then twice each day the tide ebbs and leaves the salt marsh high and dry. The tides are at their highest (and lowest)...
Terrapin | The Salt Marsh
Terrapin | The Salt Marsh

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The upper surface of the terrapin's shell, called the carapace, is formed of 13 plates, or scutes. Each scute is roughly circular and grooved with rings. Since one ring is formed each year, the age of...
Tricolored Heron | The Salt Marsh
Tricolored Heron | The Salt Marsh

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The tricolored heron is bluish on the back and wing, white on its belly and throat, and reddish-brown on the back of its neck and head. This medium-sized heron is the most common heron of the salt...
Great Egret | The Salt Marsh
Great Egret | The Salt Marsh

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The great egret is a large white wading bird. Unlike the snowy egret, the great egret has a yellow bill and black legs and feet. This bird is the symbol of the National Audubon Society. Their long...
Oystercatchers | The Salt Marsh
Oystercatchers | The Salt Marsh

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Boldly patterned in black and white, the stocky American oystercatcher is hard to mistake. It has long red legs and a large red bill. As the name suggests, they feed mainly on oysters, although they...
Annelid | The Salt Marsh
Annelid | The Salt Marsh

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Several different annelids are associated with the oyster reef, but the spaghetti worm is one of the largest and most spectacular. The spaghetti worm lives in a burrow of mud that it builds among the...
Sun Sponge | The Salt Marsh
Sun Sponge | The Salt Marsh

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The sun sponge is named for its unusual lifestyle. It is one of the very few sponges that can tolerate exposure to the sun and air. Nearly every other sponge will die when air gets into its body. Most...
Oysters | The Salt Marsh
Oysters | The Salt Marsh

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The Eastern oyster occurs along the entire East Coast, from Canada to the West Indies. It varies somewhat in habitat along this area. Oysters build reefs because the young oysters, called spat, are...