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Coastal lagoons form along gently sloping coasts where barrier islands or reefs can develop off-shore, and the sea-level is rising relative to the land along the shore. Coastal lagoons do not form along steep or rocky coasts, or if the range of tides is more than 4 metres. Due to the gentle slope of the coast, coastal lagoons are shallow. They are sensitive to changes in sea level due to global warming. A relative drop in sea level may leave a lagoon largely dry, while a rise in sea level may let the sea breach or destroy barrier islands, and leave reefs too deep under water to protect the lagoon. Coastal lagoons and barrier islands as a “coupled system”.