written by Kealy McNeal of Coastal Watch
Mangroves are a vital source of energy, provide nursery habitats for juvenile fish, nesting habitat for wading birds, stabilize shorelines by reducing erosion, and are a buffer against storm damage. Many people are familiar with these iconic trees, but few may understand how tightly linked they are to the marine ecosystem in Southwest Florida.
This year, Coastal Watch is embarking on a new initiative to teach the value of mangroves on our islands through community involvement. Through this educational initiative, “Back to Our Roots,” Coastal Watch is inviting residents to “adopt” their own mangrove to nurture so it can be planted at a mangrove restoration site on Sanibel or Captiva.
This new initiative includes a mangrove workshop where participants gain a deeper understanding of mangrove biology and their role in Southwest Florida’s marine ecosystem. Participants receive a starter kit to grow their mangrove at home until it is ready to be planted at a local restoration site during a community planting event this fall.
Save the date for the “Back to Our Roots” virtual workshops in January: Saturday, January 16th at 1 p.m. & Thursday, January 21 at 6 p.m. More information to be released soon!
Part of the SCCF (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation) Family, Coastal Watch creates and implements conservation initiatives that promote and improve the future of marine resources and, our coastal heritage. For more information about Coastal Watch, please visit sancapcoastalwatch.org or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.