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Mangrove and oyster restoration

 Mangrove Image 1

Mangroves grow along our estuarine shoreline. They are unique because they are considered halophytes, meaning they are able to grow in salty conditions.

There are three species of mangroves that usually grow at different distances from the water:

  • The red mangrove generally grows farthest out into the water. It is easily identified by its prop roots that give it added stability.
  • The black mangrove grows a little farther inland from the red mangrove. Instead of prop roots, its roots grow horizontally, but have projections called pneumatophores that stick up and allow the tree to breath.
  • Growing farthest inland is the white mangrove. It does not have prop roots or pneumatophores. White mangroves have two glands on the bottom of the leaves that excrete salt, which is taken in by the underground roots.
  • Mangroves are protected under the 1996 Mangrove Trimming and Preservation Act.

Mangroves are very susceptible to cold temperatures; in some areas you can see the snags left behind by trees that didn’t survive the freezes of previous years. For this reason, Ponce Inlet is generally considered the northern boundary for mangrove growth, although some trees can be found in Ormond Beach and farther north.

Mangroves are very important to the estuarine ecosystem because they provide habitat, filter sediments, and protect shorelines from erosion. Because red mangroves grow the farthest into the water and their unique root structure can handle waves and provide refuge for juvenile fish and other animals.

For more information on these projects with Volusia County contact Debbie Wright, or 386-736-5927, ext. 12839

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