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Mangroves are the most important trees in the world, we think! Cayman Turtle Conservation and Education Centre is doing its part to restore these natural coastal barriers and wildlife nurseries that, at first glance, may be dismissed as scrubby little beach trees.
Don’t be fooled by their understated appearance. Mangroves are the only trees that can survive in saltwater – they just sweat that salt out of their dark, waxy leaves. The supertrees protect our beautiful Cayman coastlines from intense storms, with thick root systems that buffer devastating storm surges. Most importantly, they’re among the world’s fiercest tools against climate change, hoarding five times as much carbon from the environment as a rainforest.
But like rainforests, these carbon-sinking powerhouses are threatened by rapid deforestation in many parts of the world. In fact, more than half of the world’s mangroves have been destroyed in the last 50 years.
That’s why CTCEC is restoring these key parts of “blue carbon” ecosystems along the Grand Cayman coastline. We even have a Mangrove Nursery at the Centre, where we plant and nurture the next generation of mangroves that will become fish nurseries, coastal bird rookeries and storm barriers – and potentially store enough climate-damaging carbon to help save the planet.
Visit the Centre to learn more today, and join us at our next mangrove planting!