The many benefits
The recreational fishing linked to mangrove CONTRIBUTES 1 BILLION DOLLARS A YEAR to the touristic economy of Florida
Mangroves can reduce the wave height by UP TO 66%- THIS REDUCES this reduces the erosion
Mangrove swamps KEEP 3 TO 5 TIMES MORE CARBON per hectare than tropical forest
Mangroves play a major role in the production of fish for the 210 MILLIONS OF PEOPLE who depend on it to eat and to work.
of the waves by
Acting like a real green shield, the mangrove has all the necessary qualities to control all of the coastal changes. The mangrove roots fight against the erosion by holding back the silt. This means that the trees prevent the sea from gaining over on the coasts, and even allow the coast to spread. The forest is also a guardian for residential areas, as it protects them from the storms or the tsunamis by reducing the waves force. On top of that, once the disasters have stopped, the mangrove turns itself into a doctor by boosting resilience, i.e the ability of an environment to recover after a disaster.
It is therefore a sort of “super natural barrier”, which builds, protects and repairs the coast. It is much more efficient for this job than the dykes that usually replaces them.
The mangrove has a capacity of carbon storage that is up to 5 times higher than the one of tropical forests (Amazon, Indonesie, Congo…)
Its sense of sacrifice is not limited to its own family. On a global scale, in 2012, the mangrove stored 4.19 billion tons of CO2(1) (representing twice India’s annual carbon emissions in 2016). The mangrove goes through a sort of invisible struggle against this turbulent gas in order to store it in the ground, keeping it thus safe and firmly held in its roots. However, when mangroves are destroyed, all the CO2 escapes, just like our chances of offsetting our carbon emissions…
The mangrove is home to
It is an ecosystem with multiple hidden talents, as it is also a sort of deeply rooted Noah’s ark. It is a place of refuge, of reproduction and a nursery area for many marine animals. It shelters many fishes, crustaceans, monkeys and species of birds. Some endangered species such as the red ibis and the manatee of French Guiana or the tiger of Bengal and Sumatra in Asia, for example(3), come here to find refuge in the mangrove. Both of their futures are closely tied because if the mangrove was to disappear, so would these species.
The periophtalmus gracilis (or slender mudskipper) : an example of the mangrove specificity
This fish is a true “ambassador of the mangrove“, and perhaps its most faithful representative since it knows every nook and cranny of it like the back of its hand! It can swim in the water, jump on the mud and crawl on the roots of mangroves. Distant cousin from Aquaman, he can breathe in water and in the open air. The periophtalm can stay out of the water for up to two and a half days! If you are lucky, they may agree to be your guides in his territory.
of the fish species it shelters reach adulthood and are marketable(3)
Fishing depends heavily on the mangrove. It is however not the only economic opportunity offered by the ecosystem. Indeed, it is a multifunctional living space for wildlife AND a natural do-it-yourself store! It provides wood for construction and firewood; tannin; extracted dye for dyes. Roofs can also be built from the leaves of certain plants. Some mangroves even have medicinal properties!
A true natural monument made of wood and mud, the mangrove swamp is also very attractive for tourism. It uses water purification as a paintbrush, which purifies the water and preserves the coral reefs and the beauty of this environment. The mangrove is a place of fascinating discoveries and is ideal for educational excursions. Visits are often made by boat or on paths on stilts for those who are afraid of mud baths !