Lagoons are shallow bodies of water separated from the ocean by sand bars, barrier islands or coral reefs. The barriers and reefs provide shelter on the land from any direct wave action and strong storm surges. Lagoons are also a most popular destination for people who have just vowed to love to each other until death do them apart.

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The island of Bora Bora, part of the French Polynesia in the South Pacific, is surrounded by a lagoon and thick coral reef. The coral reef is vital to the protection of ecosystems on the island. And what kind of island would it become if those barriers were destroyed? Some habitats would cease to exist, but what if new ones could flourish?

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Quiet warm waters comfort your bare feet. Each step sinks you deeper into the soft white sand, as though nature is begging you to become part of it. You want to give in, so you close your eyes and inhale scents of coconut and salt and exhale any memories of your past. Nature has now won, you are mesmerized by the dreamlike tropical paradise you are in; you walk further and further out to the ocean, but it never seems to get any deeper. A mile out and the turquoise water remains just as shallow. You turn back to face the shore and notice the palm trees waving at you from the breeze. You wish to feel the chaos of the ocean, you have grown weary of the calm. You are on one of the world’s most popular honeymoon sites, Turtle Island, the same place Brook Shields discovered love and sex and workings of life. You wonder what that means for you.

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Lagoons often serve as harbors and ports. Ships are drawn to these places for their safety, a haven from the rough waters. Sailors sneaking across fences of orange and purple coral, dream of entering a paradise full of exotic women, naked and vulnerable. They dream of the fresh juicy fruit and shaded canopies. But crossing over the stony barrier has proven time and again to be perilous. Many ships often crash and sink trying to enter the area which is so heavily protected.

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There are many man-made lagoons as well. The most famous being Blue Lagoon in Iceland; its milky blue waters are steadily superheated by a geothermal power plant nearby.

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The vibrant red waters of Laguna Colorada in Bolivia have been home to thousands of puna flamingo for centuries. These endangered birds flock to this desert area during the rainy season, where the pits of sand dunes are filled with rain water and create thousands of lagoons. Red algae and other microorganisms tint the water with its color. It is a sight: Blood-orange water, massive brown mountains in the distance, and the big blue Bolivian sky above you. To add to the amazement, there are flamingos off in the distance or maybe right in front of you. Not just any, but the most rare species; they are standing close to each other. Do they know they are the last of them? Do they know how delicate they are?

 

 

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