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Mangrove rehabilitation monitoring

Mangrove forests, formed by mangrove trees and shrubs, play a very important role for our environment, being one of the most biodiverse biomes in our planet. Mangroves trees are extremely resistant to tides, strong waves and weather changes as well as being able to adapt to different salinity levels (from brackish water, to pure seawater and even water concentrated by evaporation, which has up to a 9% salinity). However they are extremely susceptible to human activity and deforestation, which has recently raised concerns all over the world about the degradation in quality and quantity of mangrove forests.

This is why Manengkel Solidaritas has taken action, to try and prevent the destruction of Mangroves trees in the North Sulawesi Region. The Mangrove Reforestation Program takes place in a beautiful mangrove forest next to small shipping dock in Bahowo, Manado Utara. This harbor in Bahowo works as a local fisherman port and as a transport departure point to Bunaken National Park, meaning the mangrove forest has suffered the effects of human activity for decades.

Despite this fact the area offers a glimpse into the astounding biodiversity in North Sulawesi, where mangrove forests meet with glooming coral reefs in the water and with the dense jungle surrounding Klabat Volcano by land. Crystal blue water, crouded by many different fish species and and tropical jungle coexist thanks to the bond mangrove trees establishes between them.

Therefore, two months ago Manengkel Solidaritas took up the priceless task of reforesting this breathtaking biome. With the help of Mangrove Group Bahowo and Prelawan Konservasi Sulut they gathered around 1.000 volunteers that helped plant 5.000 mangrove shrubs. The operation was a huge succes since most of the trees have been able to adapt to the waterlogged muddy ground, thanks to volunteers hard work.

However, our work can not stop there, since it is crucial that we keep track of these shrub's evolution throught time. This is why today, on the 1st of December 2022, a smaller group of volunteers has returned for a second time to the reforested area to monitor the mangrove shrubs. Xaxa, Edwin, Gusti, Clem, Marine, Ainhoa and Armand have been able to monitor the incredible amount of 4616 mangrove trees throughout the day. The goal of this project was to take data that was able to provide information on the health and growth of these 2 month old mangroves. When they were first planted, they were just around 40cm in height and had grown between 0 and 2 small leaves (a good indicator of their health). After taking Samples and Data of over 200 mangroves we are extremely happy to announce that in just 60 days most of the shrubs easily surpass the 60 or 70cm in height and have grown 2 new leaves (3-4 in total), some of them even reaching more than 1meter in height with 6 leaves! At this rate in just 5 years this newly populated area will have become a fully selfsustained and operational mangrove forest, just like any other, and will play its crucial part in the conservation of marine and terrestrial biodiversity in North Sulawesi coast!

Obviously, this hard work would not have been possible without the help of the Manengkel Solidaritas team, and their donors : United Tractor Manado. Also, we send a huge thanks to all the team support we have recieved from Mangrove Groups Bahowo, Prelawan Konservasi Sulut and Dinas Kelautan dan Perikanan Daerah Sulawesi Utara.


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