LakeLine 33-4: Coastal Lakes


The theme of this issue is “Coastal Lakes,” where we take a look at these dynamic and unique systems. Coastal lakes are often formed by ocean sand washed ashore that blocks a stream discharging into the sea. This sand plug creates a lake behind it that can last for many years, long enough for a freshwater, lacustrine system to establish. The plug is assailed from both sides – by runoff from intense rain storms or snow melt from the land side, and by storm surges from the sea. People have described coastal lakes as having a split personality; sometimes they are freshwater and sometimes they become brackish. This creates obvious stresses on the aquatic biota within coastal lakes and interesting management systems.

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