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SHARE THE FACTS ABOUT MANGROVES

Spread the word — protecting mangroves has never been more important.

Fast-growing and incomparably capable of storing carbon in their soils, mangrove forests thrive in salty waters, where their root systems form a barrier against erosion and provide a haven for wildlife.

Despite their uncommon resilience, mangrove forests are under threat. That's why it's time to act. Share the mangrove facts below and help us spread the word about mangroves and the critical ecosystems they maintain. By protecting mangroves, we can help fight climate change — and protect the coastal communities most threatened by it.

A mangrove forest in Liberia.
© Trond Larsen

Mangroves store more carbon per unit area than any other ecosystem on Earth.

Mangrove forests cover just 0.1 percent of the planet’s surface but store up to 10 times more carbon per hectare than terrestrial forests. This carbon-storing superpower makes mangroves a critical part of the solution to climate change.

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A mangrove living in Zhanjiang, China.
© Kyle Obermann

Mangroves help keep people and homes safe.

Mangroves are vital to coastal communities. They act as buffers to storm surges, forming a natural barrier between the ocean and coastal communities. But mangroves are being lost at a rate of 1%-2% per year — faster than any other type of forest. Mangroves have been found to reduce storm surge by as much as 50 centimeters (20 inches) per kilometer of mangrove width.

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A look at a mangrove restoration site in Denpasar, Bali.
© CI/Sarah Hoyt

Mangrove ecosystems are some of the most biologically diverse on the planet.

There are over 70 species of mangroves found in 136 countries. Each mangrove species is uniquely suited to its ecological niche — the wrong kind in the wrong place won’t survive. After Typhoon Haiyan devastated the Philippines’ coastal communities, the government committed to planting 1 million mangroves. Unfortunately, many were planted without regard to getting the right species in the right place, and many of the trees died.

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Aerial view of a mangrove forest in Thailand.
© Arun Roisri

Mangroves give the coastline its shape.

Mangroves actually hold coastlines in place. They help to protect from coastal erosion and provide protection from storms. Once they are gone, the land erodes, and tides and currents reshape the coastline, making it difficult or impossible for mangroves to grow back in their former habitats.

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The calm, clear water in Bird's Head allows corals to grow very near the surface in this unique environment.
© Burt Jones and Maurine Shimlock

Mangroves may help fight coral bleaching.

Young corals grow among mangrove roots, and healthy mangrove forests could provide shelter for coral species at risk of extinction from coral bleaching, caused by warming waters. At least one study found that corals that grew in the shade of mangrove trees showed greater resilience to bleaching.

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