Today’s Featured Guest Writer is Doug Raymond:
While talking about Florida’s beautiful beaches, we can’t overlook one of nature’s coastal treasures, the Indian River Lagoon. It is home to many species of plants and animals, including sea turtles and manatees. Visitors and residents alike should take a few hours to drive the Indian River Lagoon National Scenic Byway and stop to enjoy its majestic beauty.
What is a Lagoon?
A lagoon is a shallow body of water that is separated from the ocean by islands that parallel the shoreline. Small inlets allow water to come in and out of the lagoon. There are three different types of lagoons called leaky, chokes, and restricted. The Indian River Lagoon is a restricted lagoon which means that it has multiple channels to the ocean and a good circulation of water coming in and out.
Plants in the Indian River Lagoon
According to the Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce website, “the lagoon’s habitats support more than 3,500 documented species of animals, plants, fungi and protists.” The Sea Rosemary and the Caribbean Apple Cactus are just two of the many endangered plant species that are able to thrive in this habitat. Other plants in the estuary include mosses, a variety of ferns, and many types of grasses. There is ample opportunity to take pictures while you enjoy the simple beauty of the plants, and you can enjoy their unique aromas when visiting the lagoon.
Animals Living in the Lagoon
Favorite residents of the lagoon are the playful dolphins and majestic manatees that inhabit the area. Hundreds of bottle-nose dolphins from various dolphin communities call this place home. Sea turtles, many different lizards, and the endangered American Alligator are just a few of the reptilian residents at Indian River Lagoon. Sharks, sting rays, and otters reside here too. You may even spot a black bear. It is home to many animals, including both those that are endangered and those with thriving populations. The lagoon provides a specific and unique environment.
Enhancing the Space Coast Lifestyle
If you love the outdoors and ocean life, then you will love the Indian River Lagoon. All east Florida residents should take the opportunity to visit this estuary. Although it is beautiful and provides a home to many animals, it is fragile and sees the occasional threat like plant overgrowth. It can also sometimes suffer from pollution. It is important to enjoy nature’s treasure, but also to keep in mind that it must be respected. If you’re just a visitor, or one of the lucky people who get to call Florida home, don’t miss out on this gem.
About the author: Doug Raymond grew up in Idaho, and has worked in and around home construction and real estate for most of his life. He is interested in home building, construction, architecture, interior design, landscaping, green living, writing, blogging, internet marketing, sports, and the outdoors.
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