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Coastal Watch launches new mangrove initiative

By COASTAL WATCH - | Dec 23, 2020

PHOTO PROVIDED Coastal Watch recently announced a new initiative, “Back to Our Roots.”

Coastal Watch reported that 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 the islands through community involvement. Through the educational initiative, “Back to Our Roots,” it is inviting residents to “adopt” their own mangrove to nurture so it can be planted at a mangrove restoration site on Sanibel or Captiva.

The 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 in the fall.

The “Back to Our Roots” virtual workshops will be held on Jan. 16 at 1 p.m.m and Jan. 21 at 6 p.m. Additional information about the workshops will be released soon, according to Coastal Watch.

Part of the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation family, Coastal Watch creates and implements conservation initiatives that promote and improve the future of marine resources and the coastal heritage. For more information, visit sancapcoastalwatch.org or contact coastalwatch@sanibelseaschool.org.