The coastal-marine environment has several different habitats with a set of specific physical factors: ocean tides, wave action, sea temperature, ocean currents, levels of light, wind, type of topography, climate.
For example, the eastern African coast includes mangrove, seagrass and coral reef habitats. Each of these requires specific environmental conditions for its development. In the case of the mangrove habitat, shelter from wave action and soft mud or sand are the basic conditions that allow the community to flourish. The combination of habitats forms the marine ecosystem. This ecosystem, the various habitats, communities and species they comprise, constitute the marine biodiversity of the eastern African region.