Mangrove Trees: A climate change solution

Along the fringes of coastlines, where land and Ocean meet, grow the world’s mighty mangrove trees.

These resilient trees grow along shorelines, with their complex root networks stretching deep into the mud. These coastal ecosystems are found on every continent except Antartica.

Although mangroves may not look like much, they have unique adaptations that allow them to live in saltwater environments and provide crucial habitats for many marine species. 

Why are mangrove trees an Ocean solution 

Mangrove ecosystems are a potent, nature-based solution tackling Ocean threats like climate change and loss of biodiversity.

They are the only forests situated at the confluence of land and sea in the world’s subtropics and tropics and are often called “coastal woodlands”, “tidal forests” and “mangrove forests.”

So, what makes mangroves a climate solution? 

Here are 5 ways mangroves trees tackle climate change:

Mangroves are carbon sinks 

Mangrove trees are highly effective carbon sinks. They sequester (the process of removing carbon from the atmosphere) 3 – 5 times more carbon per hectare than rainforests and they store up to 5 times more carbon per equivalent area.  

Carbon stored in mangrove forests is considered blue carbon as it’s stored on the coast.

“The soil of mangrove forests alone can hold more than two years of global emissions – that’s 22 billion tons of carbon,” according to Project Drawdown. This is why they are a huge Climate Action solution!    

Mangrove forests are biodiversity hotspots 

There are up to 25 more species of fish and other wildlife in mangroves than in areas where they have been cut down.

Mangroves also provide nesting and breeding habitats for fish and shellfish, birds and sea turtles. 

How do mangrove trees improve food security

For people living in coastal regions, healthy mangrove forests provide a healthy ecosystem from which to fish – and healthy farmland from which to grow crops and other produce.   

Mangroves are storm protectors 

Mangroves act as natural protection for coastal communities as they protect them from increased storm surges, flooding and hurricanes.  

Your coastal water quality ensurer 

The heavy network of mangrove roots helps filter sediments, heavy metals and other pollutants. This prevents the contamination of waterways and preserves delicate habitats like coral reefs and seagrass beds.  

We’re losing mangrove forests at an alarming rate 

Mangroves are some of the world’s most valuable coastal ecosystems and yet we’ve lost around 50% of Earth’s mangroves in the past 50 years alone. 

If this trajectory continues, we could lose all mangroves within the next 100 years.

By destroying mangrove habitats we not only take away a source of carbon sequestration, we also release all the carbon stored back into the atmosphere.   

Take climate action: Plant a mangrove

At Ocean Generation, we recognise the that planting mangrove trees is a simple and effective step to take Ocean action – and it’s accessible to everyone.  

Introducing: The Mangrove Mandate

We’re partnering with local experts to restore mangrove forests in Madagascar. Not only does it give you a chance to take Ocean action at the click of a button but it embodies the way we see the Ocean: as part of the solution; not a victim to the world’s problems.

“How can I plant a mangrove tree?”

  • Follow Ocean Generation on Instagram 
  • For every follow, we’ll plant a Mangrove tree in your name.

We can regenerate a Madagascar Mangrove together!

Ocean Generation is the Ocean charity that teaches people about the Ocean and helps them take action to mitigate the climate crisis. In 2022, Ocean Generation planted 1,027 mangrove trees to sequester carbon and protect the planet.

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Our Ocean

The Ocean is a vital life-support system to all life on Earth

Everything that we rely on in our day to day lives – from our water, food, and every second breath – leads back to the Ocean.

Somewhere along the way, we’ve become disconnected from our blue planet.

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Why is our Ocean so important?

If we were in space and looked down at Earth, we would mostly see the colour blue.

Our Ocean covers over 70% of the planet, which is why we call it our Blue Planet. It produces over 50% of the oxygen we breathe; meaning that every second breathe we take comes from the Ocean. 

Our Ocean helps regulate the temperature on land and is responsible for global weather patterns like storms and heatwaves (which we’ve been seeing more of in the recent years).

It absorbs the sun’s heat, transferring it to the atmosphere and distributing it around the world – warming in the winter and cooling in the summer. Our Ocean is a key driver of how our world functions and yet it’s usually low down on governments agendas. 

How many of these Ocean facts do you know?

Containing roughly 97% of the world’s water, our Ocean supports all life on Earth.

It is home to thousands of plants and organisms. And yet, scientists estimate that 91% of species are still to be discovered. Should we stop looking for aliens on Mars and start looking for our own E.T in the Ocean?

From the oldest species in the entire world to the largest living animal in the world – the blue whale – the Ocean’s biodiversity is astonishing. 

With only roughly 5% of the Ocean explored until now, we are only just beginning to scratch the surface of the mystical world that exists below the surface of our deep blue sea.

For all of our reliance on the Ocean, a majority of it is a vast, underwater realm that remains unmapped, unobserved, and unexplored. It’s time to unlock more of the Ocean’s secrets. 

How the Ocean supports all life

Our Ocean provides us with food and facilitates pleasure, as well as livelihoods for millions, if not billions of people.

But it’s not just a commodity. The Ocean is restorative. It calms and connects us. The positive impact it can have on our wellbeing is incredible.

As humans, we depend on the Ocean for a huge part of the oxygen, water and food we need to survive.

Did you know that 17% of animal protein that is eaten around the world comes from the Ocean?

To this day, many people’s jobs rely on fishing and water-based transport. The Ocean is a crucial component of entire global economies.  

5 ways the Ocean helps our wellbeing:

  1. The movement of gentle Ocean waves and fish in an aquarium is known as Heraclitean Motion. These peaceful, repetitive movements are psychologically calming.
  2. Studies have shown that people perceive nature as a positive, and spending time amongst it is known to improve mood.
  3. Various studies have shown improved mental and physical health in those who spend time near the coast.
  4. When swimming, breathing patterns affect the brain and increase positive hormones.
  5. The sounds of waves support meditation techniques.

So, why are so many of us so disconnected from the Ocean?  

Do you think of the Ocean as something you only see while on holiday? Or perhaps you live in a city or town, so you feel it’s too far away for you to feel connected to it?

You may be shocked to know, 1 out of every 2 people in the world live near coastal areas. 

And because the Ocean provides every second breath, the Ocean has an impact on our lives no matter where we live. Our actions have an impact on the Ocean too. 

Did you know that there is now new water made on Earth? The same water cycles around. This water cycle is a closed loop that has existed for billions of years. 

We are deeply connected to this global water body, influencing our everyday lives in so many ways, like every single thing we eat, breathe and drink.

Without a healthy Ocean, we will not have a healthy future.

We all need to understand how important the Ocean is to our daily lives to be continually motivated to protect it. 

Want to learn about the Ocean? Join the Ocean Generation.

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