Adjacent to Everglades National Park, Florida Bay encompasses the shallow waters, mangrove islands, and grassy banks between mainland Florida and the Keys; an area about 1,000 square miles in size. With an average depth of only 3 feet, the bay is home to a number of marine populations as well as a vital nursery ground for commercial and recreational reef fish species and pink shrimp that support one of the highest valued fisheries in Florida.
Because of its importance as a nursery, the bay also plays host to a group of NOAA researchers who are investigating how habitat changes in Florida Bay are impacting juvenile sportfish populations, with a focus on the spotted seatrout. The study aims to examine the relationship between juvenile spotted seatrout abundance, salinity, temperature, and seagrass, and use the data to quantify and predict the impacts of Everglades Restoration.
Originally Published by Hanna Payne, 2016