Saving the mangroves, one seed at a time

A beautiful picture that captures the mangrove forest and how the roots are partially submerged in the clear water. 
©Mazur Travel, Shutterstock

 

Mangroves

Mangroves are coastal environments based primarily on water. The roots appear to be 'on the air’ because they can easily be observed over the water. They contain specialized structures that allow for the entrance of oxygen and exit of carbon dioxide. Mangrove trees are very special, and they have adapted to live in low oxygen soil and water and unstable ground.

One of the many ecological functions of mangroves is how they are home to many species of animals. They can inhabit many different types of fish in their early stages. This serves as a type of nursery for them as they move to the ocean once they are fully grown. Another amazing fact is that seasonal migratory birds depend on these ecosystems for their travels. In general terms, these ecosystems serve as a temporary or permanent home for hundreds of different marine and non-marine species.

 

A turtle happily sitting on the branch of a mangrove tree, its habitat.
©Christopher Gilette

 

Encountering different kinds of shellfish is very common in mangroves.
©Ralph Pace
 
A grey heron over the leaves of the mangrove looking for its next meal.
©Octavio Aburto

 

Mangrove trees

There are about 80 different types of mangrove trees species. Mangrove trees are very special since they are the only type of tree that can withstand saltwater. Their roots are partially underwater. The reason they survive in the saltwater is because they have evolved to filter the salt out of their roots.

 

A very beautiful angle showing the mangroves in the very clear water, and you can easily see their roots under the water.
©Regeneration International

 

They play a key role in improving the quality of the water. This is possible with the help of the roots which eliminate pollutants like phosphates, nitrates and heavy metals.

More Biodiversity

There is also a high content of microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi, as well as some vegetables. They supply moisture and humidity to the environment. They can absorb almost four times more carbon than the most common trees that are found in rainforests. The difference between mangroves and ‘regular’ trees is that the carbon is going to be stored under the water in the soil.

 

Fungi has been shown to play vital ecological roles such as decomposition of organic matter.
©Amruta Monroe

Deforestation

The sad reality is that these mangroves are being destroyed every day more.  Human behavior is causing a series of harmful effects to mangroves and all the organisms that depend on it for their survival. Deforestation, water pollution, rising sea levels, urban development, climate change and all its consequences, and so much more. Thanks to all those actions, mangroves are threatened now more than any other forest.

 

The cutting of mangrove trees for developmental processes.
©Pablo Hernández Mares

 

A world without Mangroves?

A question we must ask ourselves is what would happen if mangroves became extinct. And the consequences would be truly devastating. Millions of people around the world would suffer from the consequences of flooding. Homes that are located on the coast which are at higher risk would be vulnerable against tsunamis and other natural disasters. In terms of climate change, these contribute to storing large amounts of carbon dioxide in their roots and eliminating it from the environment. Including thousands of species of animals would be deprived of their habitats.

 

Our Contribution

Mangroves account for less than 1% of tropical forests, yet its ecological importance is top 5 in productivity out of all the other ecosystems. This is the main reason why our company has decided to partner up with Handprint and the results have been incredible so far with almost 1300 trees already planted and 202 tons of carbon dioxide have been absorbed.

 

A world map of the distribution of mangroves worldwide and the diversity of mangrove species of each region.
© Deltares, 2014.

 

The five main countries that have the largest mangroves are Nigeria, Indonesia, Brasil, Australia and México. In the present day, we are working directly in order to reforest mangroves in three different locations in Indonesia.

Here are the visual aids of the reforestation of mangroves in Indonesia:

Starting with the first location which is in Belawan Sicanang, Indonesia.

This is how the seeds germinate. As you can see, the ground is unstable and very wet, typical mangrove environment needed for the trees to grow.

 


 The mangroves have already been planted in what will be their habitat.

The process of how the plants are transferred from the place of germination (the first picture) in order to be finally planted in the mangrove.

 

And the third location is in Tanjung Rejo, Indonesia.

This one is specifically breathtaking because it is like a before and after picture. In the first picture you can easily see all the trees that have been cut down. In the second picture, however, you can see the recently planted trees.
 Where all the little mangrove trees planted will grow in order to restore the mangrove forest.

 

This is the beauty of what we do. Many people hope the world will someday get better, we take that hope and turn it into action. To cleaner water, building a habitat and refuge for wildlife such as birds and fishes, and capturing massive amounts of carbon dioxide emissions from the atmosphere.