What is Brackish Water?

brackish water

A patch of brackish water.

If you’ve traveled around Southern Florida, chances are you’ve heard the term “brackish” used when describing some areas of water. But what is brackish water and what makes it characteristic of some bodies of water and not others?

Brackish water is a cross between freshwater and saltwater – it has a higher salinity level than freshwater but not as high as seawater. Typically, water is considered brackish if it contains between 0.5 and 30 grams of salt per liter, however the salinity of any given body of water considered to be brackish can heavily fluctuate over time.

Brackish water can be naturally occurring, as well as the result of human construction projects and waste run-off. When brackish water occurs naturally, it is generally around an estuary where a river connects to the ocean, and the freshwater from the river blends with the saltwater from the ocean.

Though many underwater creatures are usually comfortable in either one or the other, freshwater or saltwater, there are some who thrive in brackish water and can flow quite easily between the two environments. Some species commonly found in brackish waters are bull sharks, sturgeon, tilapia, and trout, as well as various species of crab and shrimp.

An Everglades airboat tour with Miami Airboat Tours is the perfect opportunity to view some of these unique and interesting animals in their brackish habitat. Much of Southwest Florida is considered brackish water, especially around the coastlines on both the east and west sides of the states, and much of this water feeds into the world-famous River of Grass, also known as the Florida Everglades. Take an airboat ride with us today and experience the beauty that is the Everglades with the guides who know the area best – we are Florida’s original Airboat family!