In between cold fronts, new Smyrna beach

Well, we returned to the Marine Discovery Centre for our tour at 1pm.  I was so happy to see my new love, Cousteau.  They’ve since found out that he is a she, so she is going to get a lot bigger.  There’s a story behind this little gal, rescued from luggage in Alaska 

    
 
Nobody is going to eat my baby.  This is a very curious little turtle.  Very alert, now tame, but she nipped my finger and she’s very very strong 

    
    
 
We saw the rookeries, or nurseries where 90 % of the species give birth, such as Pelicans, white and brown, or herons.  If the wind is right you can get a good whiff, and dive overboard.  No diving we were told as the estuary is only about 5’4″ with many sandbars.  Biggest sanctuary with over 709 species of fish

The alligators are rare here because of salt water meeting fresh water. You’ll see them at cape canaveral though, which we did!

We saw many bottle nose dolphins swimming and jumping. We saw Rex the dog living on a sailboat. He barked back at us as we passed. The estuary is where salt water and fresh water meet. This water meets up with Indian banana and mosquito lagoons. River otters are common.

We saw all types of egrets, blue and green herons, kingfishers, sandpipers and plovers. We saw bald eagles. 

 
And belted kingfishers, ibis, tri colored heron, wood storks, and there was a lot of discussion about the mangroves, where the American oyster catcher bird lives.

Of interest to me was the Eco system itself, how local restaurants gave the empty crab shells back to the community so that they would be attached to mats, and placed along the shoreline. There, baby oysters might grow. The mangroves are the key to 90% of habitat, this river system is a combination of two climate zones and 3 types of mangroves, some random palm trees

We didn’t see any stingrays or Atlantic non venomous salt marsh snakes, or manatees but they were out there somewhere

Did you know oysters spit and siphone up to 50-60 gallons of water. The oyster beds themselves buffer against erosion. They are in threat from boat wakes, and man produced activities.  But that’s another story

I have to get back to my love. At least she will live.

Hugs

Judy

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