Why Mangroves and Mermaids?

You may be asking why on earth would she call her blog ‘Mangroves and Mermaids’?  Well, pour yourself a glass of wine and I’ll tell you.  The ‘mermaid’ part of it is easy…it’s simply because I like mermaids.  Ever since seeing Disney’s The Little Mermaid when I was young, I just thought they were cool and mysterious.  I don’t know much about them other than they are mythological creatures of the water sometimes called “sirens”.  They represent so many different things anywhere from romance to horror…just like the open water, and often, our lives.

Mermaid
The Enchanted Castle by Marie A. Lawson 1935

But as for ‘mangroves’, that’s a little more in depth than ‘I just like them’.  I think they are extremely important to our ecosystem!!  Not many people know much about these trees and shrubs that grow in sub-tropic and tropic, salty and brackish intertidal zones where it’s hot and humid.  Mangroves, or sometimes referred to as “the lungs of the ocean” can be seen in 123 countries around the world and are one of the most productive and biologically complex ecosystems.   There are about 70 species of mangroves, all of which do at least three very important things:  1) Mangroves keep the soil in place thus reducing land erosion.  During tropical storms and hurricanes, they act as protection to the coastal land by reducing storm surges and wind damage in low-lying communities.  2) The roots filter nutrients and trap toxins originating from land to help maintain the quality of water.  3)  They provide a habitat for insects like termites, spiders, moths and scorpions.  The environment is well loved by snakes and lizards, crocodiles, frogs, sharks and manatees, raccoons and birds as well as crabs, anemones and many more living things.  Three quarters of all tropical fish are born in mangroves!  Amazing, right??!!

So there you go.  The short of it is, I like mermaids and think mangroves are important.  Hence the name Mangroves and Mermaids.

Mangrove
mangrove image by eco companion

 

Mangrove Infochart
infographic found on mangrove project.blogspot.com

 

ecotourlinq.com

ocean.si.edu

The Encyclopedia of Earth

realmermaids.net

 

 

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