Mangroves are among the most productive and complex ecosystems on the planet, growing under environmental conditions that would kill most regular plants in no time.
Recent reports have underscored the important role that mangroves play in our daily lives, with studies labeling mangroves as among the most important ecosystems on our planet. These vital habitats make up a transitional zone between land and sea anchoring shorelines while buffering coastal ecosystems against hurricanes and tsunamis.
Mangroves protect coral reefs from sedimentation, sequester huge amounts of carbon to combat climate change, adapt to rising sea levels, serve as nurseries in a vital food source for marine life while providing critical habitat for endangered species. Mangroves also provide invaluable green economy services for humans.
Unfortunately, these ecosystems are being lost at a rate of up to 2 football fields per hour! As divers, this is bad news. The good news? The future of mangroves very much depends on us and it is within our power to conserve and restore these habitats.
The good news is PADI Dive Centers from Mexico to Indonesia are taking action to restore these amazing ecosystems. Here’s two of them:
Takata Experience is a PADI Dive Center and Marine Research Base in the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico.
Besides the ecological benefits of restoring mangroves, Takata’s Mangrove Conservation Project aims to offer employment and professional experience to the community, focusing on College graduates from Mahahual (pictured below). On the right, you can see the wide area covered by the Mahahual mangrove forest.
To learn more about Takata Experience from thier Director and PADI AmbassaDiver, Cassiopea, and hear about research internships and volunteering opportunities, click here.
On the other side of the planet, Ceningan Divers in Nusa Lembongan, Indonesia is an award-winning PADI Dive Center also taking action to restore their local mangroves.
Co-Owners Robert Scales and David McClinton explain:
“We started the mangrove nursery at our eco resort in 2018, and we grow approximately 600 propagules each year. Combined with our collaboration with local partners, we plant additional propagules in the mangrove around our dive resort. Our goals with this project are two fold: Mangroves play an important role in protecting our coastlines and our reefs, having a nursery on site assists us with our education efforts. Secondly, the program help us reduce our overall carbon footprint, it is our goal to become a carbon negative operation within this decade.”
Click here to enroll in Ceningan Diver’s free conservation workshop titled “Mangrove. The guardians of our coastline” run by PADI Instructor Georgina Hayes.
To stay connected with ocean-saving opportunities, join the PADI Torchbearer community at padi.com/onebillion.