Much of MINWR's waters are fresh and brackish.  For instance, all the water
on the right hand side as you travel Blackpoint is considered fresh water.
Most impoundments on the left hand side receive waters form the Indian River
Lagoon and thus have a higher salinity.  The levels will vary according to
proximity to inlets, rivers and creeks as well as general precipitation and
seepage.  A majority of the impoundments at the refuge are still controlled
for various purposes (i.e., mosquito control, waterfowl management and yes,
even shorebird management).  There are culverts and pump stations that
interconnect the impoundments to raise and lower water levels.  Still a good
deal of this control does depend upon the "wind tides" of the IRL.
  Indeed you may have seen Long-billed Dowitchers.  Just yesterday I had
Long-billed on the east side of a dike and short-billed on the west side of
the dike behind Pumphouse Road.  There certainly could have been a mix of a
few individuals on either side but the majority on either side was the same.
  I took the liberty of copying this excerpt from this link: ,
for a better explanation than I could give.  But there are certainly
Long-billed Dowitchers at the Refuge.  Just yesterday


Indian River Lagoon System: An Overview

The IRL, from Ponce DeLeon Inlet to Jupiter Inlet, is a biogeographic
transition zone, rich in habitats and species, and with the highest species
diversity of any estuary in North America. This system is comprised of three
interconnected estuarine lagoons, the Mosquito Lagoon (ML), the Banana River
Lagoon (BRL), and the Indian River Lagoon (IRLB-Indian River Lagoon-Brevard
County; IRLIR-Indian River Lagoon-Indian River County). The Lagoon system
receives inputs of salt water from the ocean through inlets and freshwater
from direct precipitation, groundwater seepage, surface runoff, as well as
discharges from creeks and streams (non point sources) and wastewater
treatment plants (point sources). Generally, little flushing action exists
at the northern end of the estuary as tidal influence in that area is small
and overwhelmed by wind. In areas close to the inlets, tidal elevations and
currents are more pronounced, and, thus flushing is improved.
* *

*Mosquito Lagoon.* Mosquito Lagoon is a large, shallow estuarine system
along the east central coast of Florida in Volusia and Brevard counties
(Figure 1). The northern end of the lagoon connects to the Atlantic Ocean
through Ponce DeLeon Inlet near New Smyrna Beach. The 57-km long watershed
of ML, is bounded on the east by the barrier island and on the east, west,
and south by dune ridges (Higman 1994).
* *

*Banana River Lagoon.* Banana River Lagoon is located in Brevard County. The
52-km long watershed of the BRL lies east of Merritt Island and west of the
barrier islands. These barrier islands are composed of relict beach ridges
formed by the action of wind and ocean waves (Brown et al 1962). The western
watershed boundary is the Kennedy Parkway until the parkway turns west, at
which point the boundary follows a dune ridge south (Steward and VanArman
1987). The prominent physical feature of this drainage area is Cape
Canaveral, which is located on the barrier island. South of the Cape is
Canaveral Barge Canal, a navigational channel which connects the IRLB and
the BRL with Port Canaveral and the Atlantic Ocean.

*Indian River Lagoon.* The Indian River Lagoon is about 648 sq. km in area.
It has four connections to the Atlantic Ocean, namely: Sebastian Inlet, Fort
Pierce Inlet, St. Lucie Inlet, and Jupiter Inlet via Hobe Sound. Circulation
and flushing in the IRLB and IRLIR are greatly influenced by freshwater
inflows, inlets, and winds. Principal freshwater sources for the IRLB and
IRLIR are natural streams, direct land runoff, and a number of wastewater
treatment plants. The major streams are located south of Merritt Island and
include Eau Gallie River, Crane Creek, Turkey Creek, Sebastian River, and
St. Lucie River.

  Hope this helps.

  See you out there!

Tom Dunkerton

Titusville, FL

On Thu, Jan 8, 2009 at 12:36 PM, Roy Peterson <[log in to unmask]>wrote:

> Can anyone tell me if any of the impoundments at MINWR are fresh water? My
> understanding is that it is pretty much all salt marsh. The reason I am
> asking is that I thought I had seen some LONG-BILLED DOWITCHERS there at one
> time or another in the past but a search of my records shows that I have
> seen only SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHERS there. That makes sense, since as far as I
> know LONG-BILLED's prefer or are limited to fresh water. Does anyone have
> any information to the contrary?
> Roy Peterson, Deltona
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