What do mangroves, rock and roll and big wave surfers have in common?
Well if you ask rock band Linkin Park, pro surfers Koa Smith and Koa Rothman, and the people of Bahia Magdalena, the answer is simple. They know that mangroves are life.
They are the most productive and biologically important plants on the planet, for wildlife and people. They protect coastal communities. They give us fish. They provide us with the air we breath in and store the air we breath out (CO2). Without them, sea turtles would have nothing to eat and many birds would have no where to live or rest. The desert mangrove forests of Bahia Magdalena are some of the most important plant species on Earth. (See March 28 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences)
Music for Relief,
founded by Linkin Park in 2004 in response to the Indian Ocean Tsunami, knows the importance of protecting these critical land and sea ecosystems and has partnered with WILDCOAST to conserve over 60,000 acres of mangroves in Bahia Magdalena. To get a better sense of the immense scale and vitality of this area, Linkin Park and Hawaiian surfers Koa Smith and Koa Rothman joined WILDCOAST to visit the region. They got to see the 3,700 acres of mangroves that WILDCOAST has protected through conservation concessions with Mexico’s National Commission for Protected Natural Areas, see the natural buffer they provide against storms and sea level rise, and talk with local fishermen about how important the bay’s mangroves are for the local fishing economy, the primary industry in the region.
“The band and the surfers were blown away by the beauty of the region,” said Zach Plopper, WILDCOAST’s Conservation Director, who joined them on the trip. “They had so many great questions about the intricate biological structure of the forests and their wildlife that our team and the local experts could answer. It was clear that they want to help in any way they can protect this place and places like it and spread the message about mangrove conservation around the world.”
WILDCOAST would like to thank Linkin Park, Music for Relief, Koa Smith, Koa Rothman, the people of Bahia Magdalena and everyone that made this trip possible.