Coastal Watch Holds Virtual Workshops

provided to The Santiva Chronicle

Coastal Watch held two virtual workshops in January to introduce their newest conservation initiative – Back to Our Roots. An educational initiative that invites residents to “adopt” their own mangrove.

Workshop participants learned more about the role mangroves play in Southwest Florida’s marine ecosystem including their importance to wildlife and how they aid in storm protection for our coastlines.

Coastal Watch’s Conservation Initiative Coordinator Kealy McNeal also taught participants about the common species of mangroves that we have on Sanibel, including the red mangrove, black mangrove, and white mangrove, and discussed their distinguishing characteristics.

“During our workshops, we dove into a little mangrove education, so that participants understand the importance of this project,” said McNeal. “Our goal is to create mangrove advocates across our islands to encourage conservation of these important trees.”

The workshop concluded with information on how participants can engage in the program by adopting their own mangroves to grow at home. McNeal shared several methods to grow mangrove propagules at-home and offered tips on how to ensure they thrive.

After the workshop, participants picked up starter kits that include soil, a 1-gallon planting pot, and a red mangrove propagule. After participants raise their propagules, Coastal Watch will then recollect them to be planted at a local restoration site near Sanibel or Captiva later this year.

With the success of the first two workshops in January, Coastal Watch will be hosting two additional workshops in February for those that would like to join.

The next virtual workshops scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 9 and at 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 20. To register for the virtual workshop, visit

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 or contact

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