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Students can use this resource from the National Geographic to examine the conflict between development and the environment by focusing on estuaries across the United States. Its objectives are for students to learn about the environmental and economic importance of estuaries, consider the conflicts that arise because of the many uses of estuaries, research a specific estuary and the problems and solutions that have developed around it, and suggest compromises that might be made in order to protect both estuaries and economic development. To meet these objectives, students are directed to review a number of websites about estuaries and then to answer questions concerning environmental issues (e.g., What are the specific ecological characteristics of estuaries? What are some of the signs that an estuary is in trouble as a habitat?) and economic issues (e.g., How might proximity to major cities impact estuaries? To what degree should economic activity dictate the outcome of estuaries?).
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