Planting Mangrove: On October 1, 2019, residents of the El Delgadito fishing field community in coordination with COSTASALVAJE and El Vizcaíno Biosphere Reserve (ReBiVi) in Mexico, began mangrove restoration activities, with red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle) in intertidal areas of the Estero El Delgadito, located south of Laguna San Ignacio, BCS
Planting mangrove: Why is it important?
This mangrove planting activity is developed within the framework of the project: “Strengthening the effectiveness of management and the resilience of Natural Protected Areas to protect biodiversity threatened by climate change”, financed by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), and whose objective is the reforestation of around 20 hectares with direct sowing of propagules (seeds) of red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle) in coastal communities of Laguna San Ignacio, located in the southwestern portion of the ReBiVi.
Mangroves are a highly productive habitat for fish, birds, sea turtles, and other fauna, and they store more atmospheric carbon “blue carbon” than tropical forests, their conservation and restoration are crucial in the fight against climate change.
“With this project, we seek to promote the resistance of the mangrove ecosystem to the effects of climate change and implement a planting system that the El Delgadito community has developed. Men and women from the community participate in planting activities, ”explained Francisco Martinez, coordinator of the WILDCOAST land conservation program.
About a million red mangrove seedlings are to be planted in an ecosystem that is already suffering from the effects of climate change. These mangroves of Laguna San Ignacio are the northernmost on the Pacific Ocean coast, higher up they no longer exist.
These forests occupy a surface of 3,727 hectares of the coastal landscape of LSI, they are dominated by the presence of two species, red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle) and white mangrove (Laguncularia racemosa), considered threatened species. They are generally characterized by being short trees up to 3 meters high, with dense foliage and that develop in conditions of hypersalinity and little freshwater supply throughout the year.
The threats from the effects of climate change that the Lagoon faces are: the increase in mean sea level, increase in the frequency and intensity of hurricanes and tropical storms, changes in the distribution patterns of the species, competition with potentially invasive species, loss of coverage due to the occurrence of extraordinary tides, changes in the mean sea temperature and changes in the channels and channels of marine and freshwater.
The importance of mangroves
Mangroves provide the inhabitants of coastal communities with defense and protection against these effects of the climate. Mangroves also provide a great variety of ecosystem services such as feeding, shelter, and reproduction sites for a variety of commercially important marine species; they support an abundant coastal fishery of high commercial value, such as the California lobster (Panulirus interruptus), abalone (Haliotis fulgens and Haliotis corrugata), brown shrimp (Farfantepenaeus californiensis) and a variety of species of bivalves and fish.
These mangroves also contribute to maintaining the quality and ideal conditions of LSI’s waters, so that each year they host a breeding population of gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus), which during the months of December to April, arrive at mate and give birth. to a new calf of calves, and to sustain during those months, an important tourist industry with the low environmental impact that contributes to the local economy, based on the observation of these cetaceans.
Given the global climate projections, this project seeks to strengthen the red mangrove populations within the LSI region, so that they continue to provide these environmental services, beyond our generation.
“With this vision, to guarantee a healthy environment for future generations, we will continue working to strengthen the conservation of LSI and its mangroves,” reiterated Martinez.
WILDCOAST appreciates the collaboration of CONANP through the staff of ReBiVi and CONAP Central Offices, UNDP, and the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) for their economic and logistical contribution to the realization of this project.
A great recognition of the dedication and hard work that the inhabitants of the El Delgadito fishing field have done for the conservation of LSI and its mangroves.
Planting mangrove in the Philippines
The Philippines has 39 species of mangroves that are threatened and action must be taken immediately not only to save these species but also to save many coastal areas from erosion. Planting mangroves in the Philippines has been carried away in some areas like Negros Occidental and Aklan but still more activities are needed.
Many sea-dwelling animals like fish and crustaceans including mammals rely on mangroves during reproduction and for food and letting this important habitat further ruined could result to total nature destruction and habitat loss.