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Florida's Choctawhatchee Bay is located just east of Pensacola Bay on the western end of the Florida panhandle. Freshwater flow to the bay comes from the13,856 sq. km watershed which includes the Choctawhatchee River, Pea River, Wrights Creek, Sandy Creek, Pine Log, Seven Run, Holmes Creek and Bruce Creeks (CBA, 2002). The bay is separated from the Gulf of Mexico along most of its length, but connects through the Pensacola and East passes entering through the south at Destin Pass.
The bay system is fringed by forested wetlands and also characterized by marshes and patches of oyster beds. The system supports the endangered Okaloosa darter (Etheostoma okaloosae). Numerous fish, birds and wildlife make the Choctawhatchee Bay their home.
Coordinates: 30.45° N 86.45° W
Selected Characteristics: (USEPA, 1999)
Surface Area: 334 km2
Drainage Area: 14,000 km2
Average Daily FW Inflow: 241 m3/s
Average Depth: 5.0 m
Average Salinity: 25 ppt
Coastal Wetlands: 1,133 km2
Submerged Aquatic Vegetation: 12 km2
USEPA. 1999. Ecological condition of estuaries in the Gulf of Mexico. EPA 620-R-98-004. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, Gulf Ecology Division, Gulf Breeze, Florida. 80 pp.
Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance (CBA). 2002. Choctawhatchee Bay. Located on the web at: http://www.basinalliance.org/
Florida Department of Environmental Protection (Florida DEP). Located on the web at: http://www.dep.state.fl.us/coastal/sites/northwest/rocky/info.htm
The Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance
Florida Department of Environmental Protection - Topsail Hill State Park
Florida Department of Environmental Protection - Fred Gannon Rocky Bayou State
Florida Department of Environmental Protection - Rocky Bayou State Park and Aquatic Preserve
Florida Department of Environmental Protection - Grayton Beach State Recreation Area
Florida Division of Foresty - Point Washington State Forest and Wildlife Management Area
Florida Department of Environmental Protection - Henderson Beach State Park
Keywords: Creek, River, Bays, Estuaries, Choctawhatchee
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