Planting Mangroves to Save the Planet
Dec 13, 2019 11:43PM
● By Paul Spear
Planting Mangroves to Save the Planet
Local conservation group WILDCOAST is tackling climate change one sapling at a time
Did you know that mangroves have climate change fighting superpowers? A recent study has proven that the desert mangroves of northwest Mexico absorb and store five times more atmospheric carbon than any other tree on earth, even more than rain forests. “They do that because these trees absorb and store carbon from the atmosphere not only in their branches, trunks and roots, like all trees, but they have the unique ability to bury carbon on the mud beneath them. We discovered this fact recently measuring the ground around them,” explains Tannia Fraustro, Climate Change Manager for WILDCOAST.
Mangroves also defend coastal communities against sea level rise and increasingly intense and
frequent storms while providing refuge for important commercial fisheries, birds, and abundant wildlife
Therefore WILDCOAST, a conservation group based in California and Mexico, is launching the #1MILLIONMANGROVES campaign, a natural solution in the fight against climate change.
Mangroves around the world are disappearing at a rapid rate due to coastal development, agriculture, aquaculture and deforestation. So we are not waiting. WILDCOAST has already started restoring 247 acres of mangrove habitat in Laguna San Ignacio, the world’s last pristine gray whale breeding lagoon, and is looking to restore another 2,000 acres in the coming year .
“It’s not too late, given the fact that these forests are carbon storing superpowers. In 2020 we want to plant one million mangroves in areas that have been impacted,'' said Zach Plopper, Conservation Director at WILDCOAST.
The latest report from the Global Commission on Adaption clearly states that “natural ecosystems are humanity’s first line of defense against floods, droughts, heat waves, hurricanes, and the other mounting impacts of climate change.”
This recent report puts a fine point on the value of savings these forests: The protection that mangroves provide against coastal flooding and storms helps avoid more than $80 billion in losses and keeps 18 million people safe every year. They also offer some $40–50 billion annually in benefits tied to commercial fisheries and recreation.
Through WILDCOAST’S natural climate solutions, like restoring mangroves and wetlands, protecting coral reefs, and helping to manage vast protected areas in Mexico and California, our international team is on the frontlines of climate change adaptation and mitigation on a global scale.
In 2019, WILDCOAST received the Keeling Curve Prize for its innovative efforts to protect coastal forests – mangroves, and other coastal and marine ecosystems that are among the most important carbon sequestering ecosystems in the world, in the Gulf of California and along the Pacific Coast of the Baja California Peninsula in Northwest Mexico.
So how can you help? WILDCOAST is asking people to join and support their #1MillionMangrove. For every dollar received, WILDCOAST will plant a seedling to populate tropical regions with mangrove forests.
With the effects of climate change upon us, if ever there was a time to protect, restore and defend every inch of green and blue on the planet, it is now,” added Plopper. “At WILDCOAST, we don’t like to focus on doom and gloom, rather we find solutions and put conservation into action, like planting as many carbon-capturing mangroves as we can.”
WILDCOAST is an international team that protects coastal ecosystems and wildlife.
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