Mangroves are trees which grow in coastal regions and they are characterized by their tangled roots that grow above the ground thus forming a dense thicket. Over 120 million depend on mangroves for livelihood, and it provides habitat for over 3000 fish species. Therefore, its loss will have dramatic consequences for both nature and man. This prompts measures to be taken to counter its eradication.
The following are ways we can help in saving mangroves.
Reducing shrimp farming
Shrimp farming around the coastlines has devastating effects on mangroves. It has led to the clearance of mangroves to make way for the agriculture which is a crucial issue that should be addressed. These farmers should be advised on alternative forms of farming.
Increasing awareness of the locals
Programs should be put in place to educate the local people who live along these regions on the importance of mangroves. They should be educated on its importance and the dangers that come along with its destruction. Additionally, they should be engaged in the team that advocates for saving the mangroves.
Stopping its clearance
Mangroves are often viewed as unproductive and smelly. Therefore, over time there has been clearance to create room for agricultural land or construction of harbors. Mangroves should be preserved because of its ecological importance. It should not be cleared for whatever reason if we want to preserve it.
Mangroves are typically used for firewood, charcoal production, wood chips, pulp production, and animal fodder. These practices have been intensified thus threatening extinction of mangroves. Therefore, we should be sensitive on this and come up with alternative ways of attending to our needs rather than harvesting mangroves.
Reduction on use dams and irrigation
Dams alter the natural river flow by tapping water in the reservoirs. Therefore, an increase in irrigation and the use of dams change the salinity of water in the mangroves due to insufficient water which is allowed to reach these areas. Mangroves can’t survive in extreme saline conditions. Additionally, freshwater diversions also contribute to drying out in the mangroves.
Pollution is one of the biggest threats to mangroves. Toxic human-made chemicals, pesticides, and fertilizer are deposited in mangroves forests which can smother and suffocate them leading to its death.
Stop destruction of coral reefs
Coral reefs form a barrier to sea waves which prevents the damage of the seedlings. They also prevent nutrients from being washed away from these strong currents.
Overfishing leads to an ecological imbalance in food chains, and mangroves can suffer nutrient Imbalance.
Some tourists tend to bring garbage, fumes, sewage which endanger the mangroves. Tourists should be educated to be responsible to avoid being a threat to the surrounding ecosystems.
Mangroves are as important as any other plants that matter to us. Why are we viewing them as ecological aliens? It is our communal responsibility to stand and protect mangroves. Other living things such as fish are also depending on them for habitats. Therefore, let us all save the mangroves.