Coral reefs are amazingly diverse ecosystems, serving as essential breeding, nursery, and feeding grounds for countless species. Wetlands, too, are thriving environments, teeming with life and serving as stops for millions of migratory birds.
Other coastal ecosystems as well—like oyster reefs, sea grasses, and mangroves—all play important roles in the life cycle of countless inhabitants. These incredible environments are not just doing the essential job of providing habitat for wildlife, though. They also protect coastal areas—and the humans that live there—from flooding, sea level rise, erosion, and the impact of waves.