Strait body of water

August 18, 2022
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Bays, gulfs, and straits are types of waterbodies that are contained within a larger body of water near land. These three waterbodies are usually located at important points of human activities; thus, conflicts with nature and neighbors can result.

An infrared photograph of the San Francisco Bay area, taken from the space shuttle Discovery, shows the bay's shape and the heavy development in the region.


A bay is a small body of water or a broad inlet that is set off from a larger body of water generally where the land curves inward. The San Francisco Bay, off the coast in northern California, is a well-known bay in the United States. Examples of other bays include the Bay of Pigs (Cuba), Hudson Bay (Canada), Chesapeake Bay (Maryland and Virginia), and Bay of Bengal (near India).

Bays usually occur on oceans, lakes, and gulfs, and generally not on rivers except when there is an artificially enlarged river mouth. An example of a bay at a river's mouth is New York Bay, at the mouth of the Hudson River.

Health of Bays.

All bays are important to the continued health of the surrounding environment . However, these bays can be degraded when the water's natural state is changed by the introduction of foreign materials into water flowing into the bay, or into the bay itself. For instance, the San Francisco Bay is connected to the Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta estuary , which is the largest estuary on the west coast of the United States. This aquatic system supports more than 120 species of fish and is a waterfowl migration and wintering area.

Although known for its natural beauty and importance to the health of its surrounding area, the San Francisco Bay has been degraded by many human activities such as commerce and recreation. For example, more than 95 percent of the tidal marshes along the shore have been filled. Large reductions (and in some cases losses) in fish and wildlife habitat have resulted. The flow of fresh water into the estuary and the delta also has been reduced due to diversion of the water by pumps within the delta, thereby increasing the estuary's salinity.

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