The protective sandbars, barrier islands, or coral reefs protect the lagoon from storm surges and other strong ocean waves. This lagoon, also in French Polynesia, is protected by a rocky reef.

Photograph Aneet Patel, MyShot
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lagoon
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