Portal:Islands

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Introduction

Atafu atoll in Tokelau

An island or isle is any piece of sub-continental land that is surrounded by water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atolls can be called islets, skerries, cays or keys. An island in a river or a lake island may be called an eyot or ait, and a small island off the coast may be called a holm. A grouping of geographically or geologically related islands is called an archipelago, such as the Philippines.

An island may be described as such, despite the presence of an artificial land bridge; examples are Singapore and its causeway, and the various Dutch delta islands, such as IJsselmonde. Some places may even retain "island" in their names for historical reasons after being connected to a larger landmass by a land bridge or landfill, such as Coney Island and Coronado Island, though these are, strictly speaking, tied islands. Conversely, when a piece of land is separated from the mainland by a man-made canal, for example the Peloponnese by the Corinth Canal or Marble Hill in northern Manhattan during the time between the building of the United States Ship Canal and the filling-in of the Harlem River which surrounded the area, it is generally not considered an island.

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West Mersea beach
Mersea Island is an island in Essex, England, in the Blackwater and Colne estuaries to the south-east of Colchester. The island has been inhabited since pre-Roman times. It was used as a holiday destination in Roman Britain for occupants of Camulodunum (now Colchester). Fishing has been a key industry on the island since then, particularly oysters, and along with tourism makes up a significant part of the island's economy. The main access to the island is via a causeway known as the Strood, carrying the Mersea–Colchester road (B1025). The road is often covered at high tides and especially during spring tides.


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