Gazi Bay’s shallow, subtidal mud and sand flats are sheltered by fringing coral reefs. Twelve species of seagrass grow on the mudflats, and these seagrass beds cover about half of the bay’s 6 square miles (15 square km). Mangrove-lined creeks flow into the bay, and this unusual proximity of mangrove, seagrass, and coral reef systems has led to scientific studies on how they interact. The seagrass beds proved to be important in trapping particles washed into the bay from the creeks. Most were trapped within 1 miles (2 km) of the mangroves. The seagrass beds provide food directly for shrimp larvae, zooplankton, shrimp, and oysters, and they are the main feeding grounds of all the fish in the bay, making them very important to the health of the local fisheries.