Estuaries also provide a means of navigation along coasts through inter-bay connections for commerce and recreation as it provides greater protection from storms and tidal action because of bordering sandbars and peninsulas.

Navigation through shallow estuaries, such as through the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, requires monitoring of water levels, currents, and weather patterns (NOAA 2013).  Today’s vessels are larger than the past and increased traffic through estuaries leaves no room for mistakes. Tidal levels may change based on the amount of freshwater inflows, therefore a better understanding of water level fluctuations during tidal cycles is necessary for habitat restoration projects to meet necessary flow levels.