7 Things You Should Know about Mangroves

Blue Carbon | Climate Change | Mangroves

By Kirsten Drehobl
  1. Mangroves grow in tropical and subtropical regions along coastal intertidal zones with low-oxygen soil, where slow-moving waters allow biomass and sediments to accumulate for thousands of years. That’s why they can store so much carbon. The intricate root system of mangroves makes these forests attractive to fish and other organisms seeking food and shelter from predators.

(Photo by Claudio Contreras Koob)
  1. Mangroves are a Blue Carbon ecosystem that sequesters atmospheric carbon at a rate five times faster than terrestrial forests while storing up to 50 times more carbon than forests on land. Even tropical rainforests!

(Photo by Miguel Angel de la Cueva)
  1. Unfortunately, more than half of all mangroves around the world have been removed in the last 50 years. When these systems are damaged, an enormous amount of carbon is emitted back into the atmosphere, where it further exacerbates climate change. Protecting and restoring mangroves and coastal wetlands is a natural solution to reduce the impacts of climate change.

  1. Mangroves also defend coastal communities against sea level rise and increasingly intense and frequent storms while providing refuge for important commercial fisheries, birds, and abundant wildlife. Research shows that coastlines with intact mangroves are more resilient to climate change.

(Photo by Octavio Aburto)
  1. Mangroves help filter pollutants, improving water quality and reducing the likelihood of harmful algal blooms and hypoxia (the depletion of oxygen), which can be detrimental to wildlife.

(Photo by Claudio Contreras Koob, Bahia Magdelena, Mexico)
  1. Mangroves around the world are disappearing at a rapid rate due to coastal development, agriculture, aquaculture, and deforestation. WILDCOAST is working with local communities to conserve and restore mangroves on Mexico’s Pacific coastline. In partnership with Mexico’s National Commission for Protected Areas, we have protected 8,454 acres of forest. In Laguna San Ignacio, the world’s last pristine gray whale breeding lagoon, WILDCOAST has planted 120,000 seedlings across 250 acres of mangrove habitat and is planning to restore another 2,000 acres in the coming year.

(Photo by Miguel Angel de la Cueva)
  1. Mangroves are important ecosystems within critical habitat for threatened wildlife like the Eastern Pacific Gray Whale, who’s population has declined nearly 25 % since 2019. WILDCOAST has conserved 483+ miles of shoreline around the gray whale breeding lagoons of the Baja California Peninsula.

(Photo by Claudio Contreras Koob)