Atlantic Ocean


Description- The Atlantic Ocean is made of saltwater. The Atlantic Ocean near Georgia is warmer than most oceans in the world. Georgia's offshore waters are unique and play important environmental roles. They lie along the route a lot of animals use to move from one place to another. 


Location- The Atlantic Ocean is located on the southeastern border of Georgia. 

Which animals call the Atlantic Ocean home?

The sand tiger shark is very large and has a mouthful of sharp, spike-like teeth. It can eat just about anything it wants and swallow it whole. It doesn't attack humans. It is the only shark that controls how it floats in the water by burping! It grows to 10 1/2 feet as an adult. It can weigh 350 pounds. In the ocean, they are found near the surface, in mid-water, or at the very bottom of the ocean.

After baby loggerhead turtles hatch, they immediately make their way to the sea. If they're male, they spend their entire lives in the ocean and never come back to shore. The only time a female loggerhead comes back to the beach is to lay her eggs.  She crawls up the beach at night, digs a pit in the sand with her hind flippers, and lays between 80 and 120 eggs in the nest. Many of the eggs are eaten or stolen by raccoons, ghost crabs, and humans, but after 50 to 80 days, a few tiny hatchlings will struggle out of their eggs and make it the ocean.

Shrimp depend on a mix of fresh and salt water for to survive. After laying eggs in the Atlantic Ocean from late March to September, the shrimp enter a mixed fresh and salt water area, where they feed on bottom algae and small animals. Within a few months they return to ocean waters as adults.  Shrimp are Georgia's most valuable seafood.  

Right whales can grow up to 60 feet long and weigh up to 100 tons. Their  bodies are mostly black, but they also  have roughened patches of skin on their heads. They are called "right whales" because whalers thought the whales were the "right" ones to hunt, since they float when killed and often swim within sight of the shore. Over hunting caused their numbers to decrease.  Today, the right whale is endangered, there are only 350 left, so instead of hunting them, people often watch these whales for pleasure. The right whale is also the Georgia State Marine Mammal.

Many types of fish live in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Georgia. Baitfish, black sea bass, grouper, snapper, amberjack, bluefish, tuna, amberjack, king mackerel, barracuda, and sailfish, barracuda, and mackerel are just some of the fish common in the area. Georgia has built fake reefs to attract fish and other sea life.


Which plants live in the Atlantic Ocean?

Gray's Reef  has both plant and animal life. Gray's Reef which is off the Georgia coast known as a "live bottom" or "hard bottom" habitat. The rock that forms the reef is mostly sandstone and limestone that was formed between two and five million years ago! The rock rises up 9 feet off the sandy bottom and gives a place for many different types of animals to grow. Most of the sea bottom off the Georgia coast is flat and sandy. Gray's Reef is important because the rock provides a home for hundreds of different plants and animals.  Many plants thrive on Gray's Reef; including  seaweed, algae, and seagrass.