As you inch closer to the ocean or close to estuaries in the tropics and subtropics, you may have noticed green forests, these are most likely mangroves. What makes them unique is that they are a vital part of both land and sea and do extremely well in salt water - a trait very few plant species have been able to adapt to. This makes them easy to look after the initial states of growing them from seedlings.
Mangroves are thriving biodiversity hotspots. They are home to many species of birds and aquatic life including endangered species not forgetting crabs, shrimps, baby sharks and a wide array of fish species, therefore protecting mangrove habitats is vital in conserving these species.
They act as buffers against storms and huge tidal waves. The roots break up tidal forces that can otherwise lead to erosion and destroy coastal properties and livelihoods. At a time where we are facing catastrophic weather patterns, mangrove forests remain a vital mitigation tool in preventing damage and losses to communities.
Mangroves are vital in the fight against the climate change. One hectare of mangrove forests are known to store 1000 tonnes of carbon per hectare beneath their soil and as a part of the whole unit of the forest. Therefore restoration of mangroves should be a top priority as we aim to keep temperature below 1.5.
They are significant in providing livelihoods for local and indigenous communities living next to coastal lines. Mangroves are a source of food providing vital nutrition, income and even building materials. Many communities attach cultural significance to these forests such as carving out durable dhows and boats for their daily use.
As Blue Earth Organization our flagship project is community led and focuses on empowering the local community economically through sourcing mangrove seedlings.
Mangroves have vast networks of roots which trap sediments and pollutants that would otherwise go into the ocean and pollute corals and wild habitats. They are therefore important as we fight pollution.
They are beautiful to look at. With huge network of roots to their green masses they are a sight to behold! With forest bathing getting traction and since wading through mangroves is best done with bare feet, it is an indulging and satisfying experience that improves mental health, stimulates the brain, makes us creative and fights insomnia .
No doubt mangroves provide an array of benefits for our ecosystems, our communities and our well being. So be sure to follow us on our socials, connect with us and join in our fun filled and engaging mangrove planting events in Mombasa, Kenya.