Enabling students, teachers, parents and their communities in the understanding and monitoring of the wonderful world of mangroves in the Cayman Islands. Collection of data and observation of the impact of human activities on Cayman’s mangroves. Establishing a conservation ethic to protect and enhance mangrove ecosystems.
Mangrove forests are one of the most valuable coastal ecosystems on the planet offering many natural services that protects humanity’s best interest. However, these ecosystems are depleting rapidly thus contributing to ecological degrade and civilization collapse due to climate change.
Since 1970, we have lost 3,900acres of pristine mangrove forests in the Cayman Islands - primarily in the West Bay peninsular. With only 1,500 acres of mangroves left in the peninsular and with the 8500 acres of the Central Mangroves under serious threat, we have decided enough is enough and stepped up to protect this irreplaceable ecosystem.
We are the Cayman Islands Mangrove Rangers, a team of passionate Caymanians utlizing our diverse skills to protect Cayman mangroves.
Mangroves are often thought to be swampy wastelands, characterised as shrubs growing in brackish waters. Research, analysis and countless studies have recently shown that mangrove forests not only prove a greater importance to our environment, but to our everyday lives.
In order to protect the mangroves of the Cayman Islands a group of locals sourced together a programme to tackle the threats faced by these habitats. The Mangrove Rangers execute many operations to ensure sustainable developments in and around these ecosystems.
1. Establish an organisation that monitors the ecological health of the mangrove ecosystems in the Cayman Islands.
2. Collect data on the human impacts on mangrove ecosystems in the Cayman Islands through observation and collection of data and report the results to the Department of Environment.
3. Educate the communities in the Cayman islands in understanding the true value of mangrove ecosystems and their importance to the Cayman islands.
Given the biodiversity that mangroves harbour, they prove to provide to people as well as the environment. With adjoining ecosystems such as coral reefs or even sandy beaches, mangrove forests are shown to have many socioeconomic benefits such as tourism & fishing. Many countries are starting to exploit these benefits by realising the proximal relation between mangroves and local fish stocks. Along with increased biodiversity, snorkelling services around mangroves and nearby reefs are provided by local communities, where others may be educated promoting jobs opportunities. as well as food,
Exploited sustainably, mangroves may be used for umber for building residences and boats and fuel-wood for cooking and warming. By being impervious to rot and fungi decay, they can act as a material that would be perfect for construction in developing communities, often found near wetlands and damp environments.
Many marine species can be found, during their early life stages, living in mangroves, using towering roots as refuge from predators and a source of food. With low competition, species such as shrimp, grouper, and many other fish are able to grow and develop before venturing into adjoining reefs or the open ocean where they complete the rest of their life cycles. Mangroves are highly dynamic and diverse with life, homing animals from migratory birds to Amazonian manatees. From this, mangroves act as a crucial source in replenishing the ocean's fish stocks, allowing industries to carry out sustainable fishing without depleting future populations.
Creating buffer zones, mangroves protect coastlines from erosion by wind and wave action . By trapping sediments and silt, heavily adapted mangrove roots actively build up carbon rich soil, in turn preventing toxic pollutants to run-off into nearby waters. Without this dense and tangled root system, there would be a lack of water filtration which can lead to an increase in water turbidity (caused by silt), resulting in reduced light penetration into the surface water. With a lower availability of light, photosynthetic producers such as phytoplankton and zooxanthellae found in coral polyps, would experience a drop in photosynthesis -- and overall productivity. Unfortunately, with an increasing depletion of mangrove forests and climate change, such conditions are a primal factor in coral bleaching.
A small but growing group of volunteers is working to protect and preserve ‘the heart of Cayman’ – the mangroves that provide the islands storm protection, habitat for native species and weather regulation.
In celebration of World Wetlands Day (February 2nd), the Cayman Islands Mangrove Rangers launched its first Mangrove Discovery Camp. The two-day camp involved a series of fun hands-on activities based on the Marvelous Mangroves curriculum which has been taught in all Cayman schools for over 20 years.
Get ready to escape the classroom or your home by joining us on a virtual field trip to learn about one of Florida's most amazing ecosystems, MANGROVES! This program will introduce you to the mangroves of Florida, how to ID each species, and why these trees are terrific!
Fishermen in Mexico have joined a government fight to stop mangroves from being destroyed.
Mexico has the fourth highest number of mangroves worldwide and millions depend on them for their livelihoods.
Premier Alden McLaughlin has sent a message to environmental activists and conservationists after making it clear that if his team leads the next coalition government, it will seek to keep the pace of development going. Despite clear evidence that Grand Cayman’s coastline, especially along Seven Mile Beach, is already eroding and the sea level rise threat will only get worse, he said Cayman’s economy depends on inward investment.
The World Wetlands Day theme this year is “Wetlands and Water” and mangroves fit right in. Mangroves build incredible ecosystems around tropical coastlines—tying together oceans, rivers, and people. Without mangroves, coral reefs would have fewer fish, fishers and shellfish gatherers would bring in less catch, and communities would be more exposed to extreme weather like cyclones and hurricanes.