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Mangroves are one of the world’s most under appreciated and underrated ecosystems.
Located along tropical coastlines, per hectare mangroves are among the most carbon-rich forests in the world - in fact, despite covering only 0.1% of the planet's surface, research shows that 14% of all coastal carbon sequestration is thanks to mangrove forests.
THE THREE C'S
Like terrestrial forests, mangroves capture massive amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and then trap and store (or sequester) it in their carbon-rich flooded soils for millennia.
Compared to any forest on land, mangroves are 10x more effective at storing this carbon, making them our best tool for reversing climate change.
But storing blue carbon isn’t mangroves' only superpower.
Their dense roots hold soil together, providing natural infrastructure and protection to nearby communities by preventing erosion and protecting against storm surge impacts and sea level rise. Their complex mangrove root systems also filter nitrates, phosphates and other pollutants from the water, improving the water quality flowing from rivers and streams into the connected ocean environment.
Additionally, mangroves provide critical habitat and nursery grounds for countless species of wildlife such as birds, fish, invertebrates, mammals and plants.
A FRAGILE ECOSYSTEM
Threatened by deforestation
Despite these countless benefits, ground-based evidence suggests these vital coastal ecosystems have been considerably degraded and destroyed across the world due to harvesting for food, fuel, and medicine.
And when these vital forests are removed - the carbon they have been storing for decades in their soil and biomass gets released back into the atmosphere. So we must act now and continue to protect these mighty forests before its too late.