Thursday, March 12, 2015

Mangrove Forests

I met my first mangroves in Mexico. Snorkeling through them was enchanting, their roots like watery arms. It was love at first sight for me. A few days ago I spent hours in the Bali mangrove forest at the southern end of the island. They still enchant, as you can see.

They are dutiful guardians of sea and earth, cleansing the waters, sheltering fish, protecting us from storm surges. Trees that can live in saltwater tides, unique and beautiful.

But the story is more complex now. Their numbers are rapidly declining at an alarming rate – 50% lost. We who treasure the sea, land and creatures want their interconnections acknowledged.

Causeway built close across from the mangrove forest
Respect and understanding create change.

There are organizations here that strive to educate people about the mangroves and build community support for mangrove clean up and well-being. Change is slow, but persistent, like waves on rocks.

These Indonesian students visiting Bali’s mangrove forest were a delight to meet.

Students from Irian Jaya Polytechnic School

We practiced our Indonesian and English together.

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