MANGROVES ARE VITAL
TO OUR SURVIVAL
They are found nearest the coast, can grow to about 20 feet tall and are characterized by arching roots and propagules, known as long hanging seed pods. The seed pods can root immediately or float in the water until they find more suitable ground.
They are found immediately inland from red mangroves. Characterized by circular propagules and exposed roots, which burrow underground and send up pneumatophores that often stick out above the water like snorkels.
They are found more inland in tidal areas, lagoons and ponds and are characterized by rounded leaves and their small, oval propagules. Two glands at the base of each leaf act as perspiration glands removing excess salt and sugar to attract helpful insects.
Preserving an environment that includes mangroves requires raising awareness of how the abundance or loss of resources impacts humans. Take a look at why we need this bio-diverse ecosystem.
Mangroves provide food and habitat for more than 90% of commercial fishery species and more than 70% of Florida’s sportfish species. Without healthy mangrove forests, our fish populations would not be sufficient to support us.
Mangrove forests are among the most carbon-rich habitats on the planet. These trees take carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas thought to be a factor in the warming of our planet, from the atmosphere and store it in carbon-rich soil around their roots.
Mangroves filter sedimentation, nutrients and toxins including phosphates, nitrates and ammonia, thus improving water quality by balancing pH and increasing dissolved oxygen. This is vital for seagrass, marine life and yes, humans.
Even if the mangroves block your view, don’t tear them down! We need these amazingly strong trees to stabilize the shoreline from erosion and provide a buffer zone from heavy waves and storms.
Mangrove roots provide a complex environment that harbors developing fish, sharks, turtles, frogs, sponges, queen conch, barnacles, shrimp, crabs and even juvenile spiny lobster. Mangrove homes not only protect marine life, but also shelter birds of prey like ospreys and wading birds like herons. Each plant and animal has an important role in maintaining a healthy environment for the future.
WE’RE HERE TO HELP
Mangroves are in peril around the world. It’s estimated that one third of the world’s mangroves have been lost in the past 50 years (Alongi 2002). Much of this has been due to human destruction including overexploitation, coastal development, changes in water flow and damaging oil spills and pollution. Restore Our Shores needs your donations and/or volunteer time to reverse this damage. Take a look below at the ways our volunteers are already helping!