Mangroves Matters

If there are no mangroves, then the sea will have no meaning. It’s like a tree with no roots, for the mangroves are the roots of the sea!

Mad-Ha Ranwasii, a Thai fisherman and village headman, 1992.

Muddy…Moist… Mundane…; Mangroves were never eye-catching to me. This trip to SBWR really hit me hard that mangroves really matter in keeping a healthy and natural world.

Rich nutrients provided by mangroves creates important breeding, nursery and protective grounds for a splendid variety of animals.

Mangroves act as a protective barrier against storm surges and prevent erosion. They are adept at filtering out pollutants from the river water before it reaches the ocean.

The livelihoods of those living near mangroves are also heavily dependent on these magical forests; food and other resources obtained are great assets to them.

Mangroves are also quiet achievers that have somehow adapted to surviving in this challenging environment. I definitely acknowledge that their different types of breathing roots are amazing. However, their ability to avoid uptaking salts, which is generally bad for them, awes me deeper. Some deal with it by absorbing solely water, while others take up both salt and water, and subsequently excreting the salt.

However, the rapid disappearance of this special forest ecosystem will ultimately affect all of us in terms of reduced food security, devastated coastline and worsened climate change. These habitats really require our greater understanding and conservation at this point of time.

I totally did not expect to see stray dogs residing at the mangroves forests. One part of me was excited seeing these furries (Love dogs heh), yet another part of me is worried for their livelihood in this environment considered unnatural for them.

Oh yes!

Fun fact: Anaerobic microbes in the mud produces hydrogen sulfide which smells bad and strains the mud black. Thanks to our guide Ivan, I probably knew why Mangroves did not appear impressive to me previously, but now, I am understanding them with a whole new attitude! 

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