I pledge to keep the mangroves clean

Did you know: Mangroves are an extremely important ecosystem for humans.

They are the only trees that thrive in salty waters and improve water quality by filtering out nutrients and sediments.

They are also teeming with life: more than 1,500 plant and animal species depend on mangroves. This includes fish and birds who use the shallow waters beneath mangrove trees as nurseries. Research now indicates that mangroves are also critical for larger mammals, such as monkeys, sloths, tigers, hyenas and African wild dogs.

Protecting mangroves and restoring damaged ones also helps combat climate change through carbon sequestration as they are some of the most carbon-rich ecosystems on the planet, storing on average 1,000 tonnes of carbon per hectare in their biomass and underlying soils.

Source: https://www.unep.org/news-and-stories/story/inside-look-beauty-and-benefits-mangroves

But mangrove forests continue to decline due to numerous anthropogenic stressors.

In a study done to understand the impact of plastic waste on the mangroves, it was found that the amount of plastic litter is the largest in the region where mangroves are declining the fastest: that is, South East Asia.

It was also found that presence of plastic waste in and around the mangrove trees causes these trees to stress, which ultimately impacts their overall health and development.

Mangrove trees in which the root zones are entirely covered by plastic will ultimately die due to prolonged suffocation by plastic.

The study concluded that mangrove restoration projects as well as plastic cleaning drives are crucial to support the growth of the mangroves.

Read full study here: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048969720373575

Let us pledge to not throw any plastic or any other form of litter in the open, especially if we live in coastal places surrounded by mangrove forests.

A healthy mangrove forest leads to better health for all of us.

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