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Coastal Watch hosts virtual workshops for new initiative

By COASTAL WATCH - | Feb 3, 2021


Coastal Watch held two virtual workshops in January to introduce its new conservation and education initiative, “Back to Our Roots,” which invites residents to adopt and raise their own mangrove.

Participants learned about the role mangroves play in Southwest Florida’s marine ecosystem, including their importance to wildlife and how they aid in coastal storm protection. Conservation Initiative Coordinator Kealy McNeal also discussed the common species of mangroves endemic to Sanibel — red, black and white mangroves — and their distinguishing characteristics.

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

The workshops concluded with information on how participants can adopt 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. Participants then picked up starter kits that included soil, a one-gallon planting pot and a red mangrove propagule.

After participants raise their propagules, Coastal Watch will collect them to be planted at a local restoration site near Sanibel or Captiva later this year.

Coastal Watch will host two additional workshops for those interested in participating. The next virtual workshops are scheduled for Feb. 9 at 6 p.m. and Feb. 20 at 1 p.m.; registration will open on Feb. 1.

For more information or to register, visit https://sancapcoastalwatch.org/back-to-our-roots.