Where the River Meets the Sea


Explore where the salt water from the ocean and the fresh water from the rivers meet and mix. This unique occurrence produces a semi enclosed body of brackish water known as an estuary, and the Chesapeake Bay is the nation's largest and most productive. Join Smithsonian scientists and educators as the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) as they investigate the physical and biological environment of the Chesapeake Bay ecosystems, focusion specifically on the Rhode River, a subestuary of the Bay south of Annapolis, MD.

The Bay is home to a host of interesting organisms, and changing water and weather conditions affect these organisms as they live, feed, and reproduce in the estuary. Follow SERC staff as they use various nets to catch fish and crabs and sift through an oyster bar community, introducing students to some of the residents of the Rhode River. Then, to better understand aspects of water quality, demonstrations explaining salinity, pH, and turbidity will be performed. Our discussion of the physical environment will conclude with observations about the weather and tides.