Coral reefs help to limit erosion of beaches because they act as a buffer to waves coming in to the beach. As the waves come in the intricate systems of coral reefs absorb most of the wave energy, so that by the time the wave reaches the coast it has much less strength than it would without the reef. Without this increased protection waves can sometimes have enough strength to wash away beaches, seawalls, jetties, trees, roads, and homes.
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