The coastal plateau in Rio Grande do Sul features areas of great value in the environment of the extreme south of Brazil and has been formed as a result of the advance and retreat of the sea. The Taim wetlands contains diverse ecosystems, in lagunal and marine beaches, lagoons, swamps, grasslands and dune ranges and fields.
The Taim Ecological Station, is administered by IBAMA (Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources), having an area of 33,815 hectares (83,560 acres). It is located in a narrow land strip between the Atlantic Ocean and the Lagoa Mirim—Merín Lagoon. The objective is to preserve one of the main coastal ecosystems in the country, as well as to allow for scientific studies conducted by institutions and universities. The Ecological Station and nature preserve was created in 1978.