Mangroves are woody plants that grow parallel to shorelines or tidal creek systems. They are ecologically important ecosystems that link the land and sea and provide the basis for one of the most important ecosystems on Earth.
The mangrove is a unique tree that has attributes which make its protection a matter of great importance. Mangroves act as filters for nutrients and sediments, reduce erosion and help maintain water quality, provide habitat for many species and protect the shoreline against storms, making them crucial to the livelihoods of many coastal communities.
Unfortunately, mangrove forests have shrunk significantly over the last 40 years, with around 35% of mangrove forest lost globally.
The good news is that people are becoming more aware of just how important the mangrove forests are. In Queensland mangroves are protected in under the Fisheries Act 1994 and in South East Queensland recent action has facilitated mangrove recovery in many areas.
Working to protect mangroves
For more than 20 years, Healthy Land and Water has been working to protect and preserve mangroves in South East Queensland through a variety of strategic planning, mapping and on ground projects including Sunshine Coast FarmFLOW, Mangrove and Saltmarsh Dreaming, supporting MangroveWatch community monitoring, the TS Onslow Shoreline Management Project, the Fish Habitat Restoration Program in Logan-Albert, Maroochy and Northern Moreton Bay and the review of the SEQ NRM Plan.
For over a decade the Bunya Bunya Country Aboriginal Corporation on the Sunshine Coast has been developing skills in mangrove propagation and rehabilitation, working with cane farmers, scientists, fishers and Naval Cadets to prevent streambank erosion whilst at the same time promoting fish habitat in their Sea Country.
In celebration of World Mangrove Day, here are 5 awesome facts about mangroves:
For more great information about mangroves:
- The Queensland Government Department of Agriculture and Fisheries – Protection and management of marine plants: daf.qld.gov.au/business-priorities/fisheries/habitats/marine-plants-including-mangroves/protection-management
- The Queensland Government WetlandInfo – wetlandinfo.des.qld.gov.au/wetlands/ecology/components/flora/mangroves/
The Mountains to Mangroves program is supported by Healthy Land and Water through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.