The sheltered waters of estuaries are home to countless plants and animals that like to live in water that is part fresh and part salty. Examples include crabs, ospreys, herring, eagles, and seagrasses. Hundreds of fish and shellfish,such as scallops, shrimp, and salmon, live in estuaries at some point in their life. Estuaries protect water quality by filtering out dirt and pollution as well as store carbon. In addition, estuaries and the land surrounding them are places where people live, sail, fish, swim, and bird watch. As a result, estuaries are often the centers of our coastal communities.