Sunday, June 14, 2009
A multitude of marine ecosystems together characterize the ocean. The ocean is the largest aquatic system on the planet, covering over seventy percent of the Earth’s surface. The habitats that make up this system range from very productive nearshore and shallow water regions to dark abyssal regions more than 4000 metres below the ocean’s surface.
British Columbia’s Pacific coast is a biologically diverse and productive temperate marine environment. Island archipelagos, deep fjords, shallow mudflats and estuaries, kelp and eelgrass beds, strong tidal currents and massive upwellings all contribute to extra-ordinarily high biodiversity. The abundance of coastal marine life not only contributes to the complexity and total biomass of the marine food web but also provides food for terrestrial animals such as otters, eagles, ospreys, bears, raccoons, mink and humans.
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