Mangroves are trees that grow typically on the shore line of tropical coasts, where there is much tidal movement and large quantities of soft and high organic mud. They are one of the less than 60 tree species that can live and grow in salt water. Once these trees grow to a shrub sized plant or larger, the roots provide places for oysters and crabs to live, as well as an area where young fish can seek protection. The roots also help to slow the current and prevent floods and soil erosion. The largest mangrove forests are found in Malaysia, Indonesia and New Guinea.
 Despite how beneficial mangroves are to the local peoples that live around the mangrove forests, most people do not know about these benefits therefore destroy the mangrove forests as it slows down the growth speed of fish and makes harvesting and catching shrimp nearly impossible as the huge roots protect them. Even those who mean no intentional harm to the mangroves can kill them as the throw their nets. The nets can often times get caught in the roots of the younger mangrove trees and if any part of the young mangrove tree’s roots is cut off, the tree will die. Even with the rehabilitation of the mangrove forests, over half the world’s mangroves, have been lost.

The hardest part about rehabilitating these plants, is if the seed is taken off the tree to be planted in a nursery prior to being planted in the water, if the seedling is to young and is planted prematurely (one way to find whether the plant is premature or not is if it has four leafs already, it is ready to be planted in the water) in the water, it will die. Also, in many areas if locals come to catch fish in the area, as stated before, their nets will easily catch the roots of the mangrove seedlings and the roots will fall off, killing the mangrove. Many fishermen who used to use the mangrove plantation areas as shrimp farms are angered that the area that was once “theirs” is used to plant mangroves, and they cut bamboo “pots” (that are used for the young mangroves to help it grow in the deep water and are filled with mud) and let the mud flow out of the “pots”, letting the seedling drown and die.

But with efforts from people such as you and me, we can help to preserve the majestic mangrove trees. Lets all BE THE CHANGE!

Open; “How can we help?” to find out how YOU can help.