The coast, also known as the coastline or seashore, is defined as the area where land meets the ocean, or as a line that forms the boundary between the land and the ocean or a lake. The Earth has around 620,000 kilometres of coastline. Coasts are important zones in natural ecosystems, often home to a wide range of biodiversity. On land, they harbor important ecosystems such as freshwater or estuarine wetlands, which are important for bird populations and other terrestrial animals. In wave-protected areas they harbor saltmarshes, mangroves or seagrasses, all of which can provide nursery habitat for finfish, shellfish, and other aquatic species. Rocky shores are usually found along exposed coasts and provide habitat for a wide range of sessile animals and various kinds of seaweeds. Along tropical coasts with clear, nutrient-poor water, coral reefs can often be found between depths of 1–50 m. According to a United Nations atlas, 44% of all people live within 150 km of the sea.

Read more in the app

Coastal marsh migration may further fuel climate change

Coastal Cities are Sinking as Sea Levels Rise

New research on tidal flats is 'wake up call' for US coastal communities

Conservationists find high DDT and PCB contamination risk for critically endangered California coastal condors

Study finds mysterious DDT chemicals in California condors — DDT-related chemicals were seven times more abundant in coastal condors than condors that fed farther inland.

Violent Coastal Storms Could Help Protect Beaches From Sea Level Rise

Invasive species and climate change impact coastal estuaries

Researchers discover new species of salamander from Gulf Coastal plains hotspot

Coastal Cities Are Drinking Themselves Underwater

Coastal cities around the globe are sinking

Turbulence from spawning fish keeps a healthy circulation in coastal waters

Advances in street lighting are reducing the efficacy of coastal species’ camouflage

If Managed Properly, Whale and Dolphin Carcasses Can Benefit Coastal Ecosystems

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Harmless Dyes Shed Light on Coastal Water Flows

How inland and coastal waterways influence climate

Surfing towards coastal ecosystem protection

Wildfires Char South Korea – Blazes Raced Through Coastal Counties

California Fire Led To Spike in Fecal Bacteria in Coastal Waters

Tiny tire particles inhibit growth of organisms in freshwater, coastal estuaries, studies find

Coastal Sea Levels in U.S. to Rise a Foot by 2050, Study Confirms