Lagoons are shallow bodies of water separated from the ocean by sandbars, barrier islands, or coral reefs. The island of Bora Bora, part of French Polynesia in the South Pacific, is surrounded by a lagoon and a thick coral reef.

Photograph by George F. Mobley

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lagoon Encyclopedic Entry

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A lagoon is a shallow body of water that may have an opening to a larger body of water, but is also protected from it by a sandbar or coral reef