A harbor or harbour (see spelling differences), or haven, is a body of water where ships, boats and barges seek shelter from stormy weather, or are stored for future use. Harbors and ports are often confused with each other. A port is a manmade facility built for loading and unloading vessels and dropping off and picking up passengers. Ports are often located in harbors.
Harbors can be natural or artificial. An artificial harbor can have deliberately constructed breakwaters, sea walls, or jettys, or they can be constructed by dredging, which requires maintenance by further periodic dredging. An example of an artificial harbor is Long Beach Harbor, California, United States which was an array of salt marshes and tidal flats too shallow for modern merchant ships before it was first dredged in the early 20th century.
In contrast, a natural harbor is surrounded on several sides by prominences of land. Examples of natural harbors include Sydney Harbour, Australia and Trincomalee Harbour in Sri Lanka.
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