DOI link for Regional Background
Regional Background book
Many of the inshore habitats of the major bays and estuaries are dominated by freshwater runoff from associated river basins and, to a lesser degree, groundwater contributions. The salinity regimes of these areas are variously affected by major river systems or, as is the case in Apalachee Bay, by a series of small rivers and groundwater flows. The combined drainage of springs and streams contributes about 1 billion gallons of freshwater per day to Apalachee Bay, which is the only study area not affected by a major river system (Livingston, 1990a,b, 2000). The primary rivers of the northwest Florida Panhandle (Perdido, Escambia, Choctawhatchee, Apalachicola) have their headwaters in Georgia and Alabama (Figure 3.1). A series of smaller streams along the panhandle coast include the Blackwater and Yellow Rivers of the Pensacola Bay system, the Chipola River (part of the Apalachicola drainage), and the Ochlockonee River on Apalachee Bay. Farther down the coast, a series of small streams (St. Marks, Aucilla, Econfina, and Fenholloway) with drainage basins in Florida flow into Apalachee Bay.