Maintain the integrity and vitality of the mangroves while increasing the awareness and preservation of these critical coastal ecosystems.
Mangroves are wetland ecosystems found along rivers and estuaries. They dynamic environments, subjected to the tides and flow of rivers. Mangrove trees are unique in their ability to survive with their roots submerged in salt water, and have evolved to take in more oxygen and filter out salt.
Mangroves provide critical sanctuary habitat to many aquatic and land-based species, giving them safe nursery space to raise their young. Many fish species migrate to mangrove forests to lay eggs.
In the dry seasons of western Coasta Rica, mangroves remain green and teaming with life, including howler monkeys, iguanas, crocodiles, and countless species of birds, frogs, lizards, and insects.
Mangrove’s thick roots protect the coast from storm surges, flooding and erosion. They also purify the water and the air, catching solid waste and sediment, immobilizing heavy metals, and filter pollutants.
They also store up to 10X more carbon than land-based forest ecosystems, making them a powerhouse in the fight against climate change.
As trash flows down rivers and in with the tides, mangroves entrap trash. When floods occur, the waters bring waste from urban environments into the mangroves, furthering the problem.Additionally, when municipal waste systems are lacking, mangroves often become dumps for household trash and large items like tires and appliances.
Navigating the mangroves and estuaries can be challenging, it’s easy to get lost, and their accessibility is dependent on seasons and tides. Cleaning them is difficult, and the pollution often goes unseen.
Mangroves, and wetlands in general, are undervalued ecosystems, seen as inhospitable and smelly. They are thoughtlessly destroyed and polluted as coastal development expands.
Preserving existing natural environments is always the first step. This prevents further damage and escalation of the problem. Because mangroves are found in very dynamic environments with harsh conditions, they are extremely difficult to reforest. We are working to preserve and protect land so we don’t lose any more of this vital ecosystem.
By cleaning the mangroves we also reduce waste that ends up on the beach and in the ocean. Cleaning the mangroves takes a specialized team and lots of hands. We need help from those with knowledge of the mangroves to navigate the forested and estuaries, careful planning around tides and seasons, and special equipment like kayaks.
When necessary, we seek to reforest our mangrove ecosystems through planting seedlings. This takes carefully developed strategy and expert advice.
We believe Tamarindo can be a Zero Waste Community. We focus on building an energized and connected community that comes together to make meaningful impacts.
We invite you to be part of the community and join us. See more about our Community Compost and Beach Clean Up. Together we can create clean healthy environments.
Ride this wave, Join the movement