Saturday, April 20, 2013

Thursday Pictures (4/18) - Mangrove Reforestation Project

On Thursday, we woke up earlier to get to the Mangrove Reforestation Project by 8:00. Before going out to see the mangroves, the project managers introduced the importance of mangroves and the specific way this project approaches mangrove reforestation. We learned that there are seven types of mangroves where this project is done. Mangroves are mostly important as buffers between the ocean and land/rivers. This includes protection of land during storms coming from the ocean, and protection of the ocean from pollution/plastic that people throw on the ground or into rivers. Plants are by far the best way to create this buffer, as they are natural, reproduce and fill out on their own, and generally do not eventually break or fall apart as walls may do.
As we started on the walk to the first part of the mangrove reforestation project, we came across this large iguana ("chicken of the tree" in spanish):

 Here is a sprouted coconut we saw on the way, something I haven't ever seen before!

 Our first stop was the mangrove nursery. The actual nursery is in the process of being built, but we just put the mangrove propagules (the seedling that grows on the tree before dropping, similar to a spider plant) into  a large hole in the ground.

 Our project managers explained that we would plant the mangrove propagule in small containers until they are big enough to plant in the soil and act as a buffer to more propagules planted behind them (explained in more detail later with the picture of the final product!).

 We got very dirty in the process!

 Here are Anisha, Aida, and I, posing with the mangrove propagules ready to be put into the nursery! (see the pit in the background)

 After the first part of the mangrove project at the nursery, we had lunch and then headed down to the place where we planted the mangroves. Here is the "before." Notice how it is just mud! We were also filmed as you can see in this picture, be sure to watch us on the Weather Channel this Monday, April 22nd.

 One group prepared the first buffer from the tides, wooden sticks that were to be criss-crossed in front of the newly planted mangroves.

 This is the final product! The sticks act as the first buffer, and the mature mangroves as the second, protecting the mangrove propagules from the rushing water of the tide going in and out. Eventually this shore will be filled with mangrove plants and leaves.

 It was a very muddy process!


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