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Reefs are underwater ecosystems formed as a ridge of sand, rock or coral that rise up close to the water surface. Coral reefs are highly productive ecosystems held together by calcium-carbonate structures that are secreted by the corals. Oyster reefs are large communities of oysters that form on stony substrates. Reef protecting and restoration is vital as they are decreasing in size and distribution due to a number of threats, including sedimentation, pollution, disease, over-fishing, underwater construction in coastal areas, and changes in water conditions (e.g. temperature, pH) as a result of climate change. Reefs can be protected through legal means and monitoring, which minimizes potential threats.