A saliña is a salt pan, salt lake, or salt marsh. They are located in close proximity of the sea. Saliñas are permanently or temporarily flooded, hypersaline and separated from the sea by a coral rubble barrier. They serve as important sites for birds (including flamingos, sandpipers and herons), crabs, mollusks, etc. where they forage, live and sometimes breed. Saliñas are also an important part of the natural rainwater runoff system on the islands and allow for sedimentation to settle before rainwater enters the coastal sea waters. Dirty runoff water going into the sea directly has a negative impact on coral reefs.