Maritime forests are shoreline estuaries that develop alongside coastal barrier islands that assist an amazing variety of vegetation and animals. Many maritime forests in the US stay largely untouched by business improvement and carefully resemble the woodlands the place Native People lived and early colonists settled lots of of years in the past. Timber, bushes, and different vegetation in maritime forests and estuaries face up to sturdy winds, periodic flooding, and salt spray. Many species of mammals and reptiles make the forests their dwelling, and 1000’s of birds migrate to maritime forests annually.
A very good instance of a maritime forest is the Currituck Banks Reserve, situated on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The western, ocean facet of Currituck consists of sand dunes of seaside grass and sea oats, which entrance a tightly woven cover of shrub-like thickets of wax myrtle, holly, and stunted oaks. The cover acts as a windscreen to guard the forest’s much less tolerant inside bushes, typically consisting of American holly, seaside olive, ironwood, loblolly pine, pink maple, and dwell oak. On the opposite facet of the barrier island’s maritime forest lies the estuary of Currituck Sound, the place contemporary water meets the ocean’s salt water. This shallow intertidal space is dwelling to the estuary’s ample natural world.
Like all barrier islands, maritime forests are always altering and on the transfer. On Currituck, for instance, one can see stumps of deciduous bushes alongside the sandy seaside. These bushes had been as soon as within the heart of the island, however because of the always altering shoreline, they’re now principally submerged within the ocean. Maritime forests, like all estuaries, are important for storm safety. Additionally they preserve essential vitamins and groundwater.