Grasses and reeds may provide shelter and habitat for water animals </li></ul>
Edge Plants <ul><li>Phragmites communis - Common Reed : growing in shallow waters and wet soils, can grow up to 12 feet tall.
Vaccinium palustre - Small Cranberry: The fruit is edible and is held by some to be the most delicious of our native wild fruits. </li></ul>
Shallows Plants <ul><li>Acorus calamus - Sweet Flag : shallow edges of ponds and in most soils. The rhizomes, harvested in autumn or spring, are edible and can be used as a substitute for ginger, cinnamon or nutmeg - in the past the rhizomes were candied and used as a sweetmeat. </li></ul>
Semi-Shallows Plants <ul><li>Sagittaria sagittifolia - Arrow Head : Native of Britain, it grows in water up to one and a half feet deep. Its tuber can be cooked and eaten and is much cultivated in China for this purpose.
Trapa natans - Water Chestnut: Native of Asia and the Mediterranean, this plant is hardy in all but the coldest parts of Britain and it grows in water up to two feet deep. Its seed, which is about 50% starch, can be eaten raw, cooked, or dried and ground into flour. It is often cultivated for its seed in Asia. Propagation is by seed only. </li></ul>
Deeps Plants <ul><li>Nymphaea alba - White Water Lily: grows in the deeper parts of the pond - about four feet of water. Rootstocks that are several years old may be eaten - they contain about 40% starch. Roasted seeds may be used as a coffee substitute. Its young leaves and flower buds can be eaten cooked and young flowers can be eaten raw.
Water Lotus: Roots roasted or pickled. Seeds eaten raw or popped like popcorn. Stems peeled and eaten. </li></ul>
Gulf Dead Zone The large region of low oxygen water often referred to as the 'Gulf Dead Zone,' shown here, crosses nearly 7,700 square miles of the Gulf of Mexico.
The dead zone starts in Midwestern corn country when farmers fertilize their fields with nitrogen. The fertilizer run-off flows down the Mississippi River into the Gulf of Mexico, making algae bloom on the surface and cutting oxygen to creatures that live on the bottom.