Three types of Mangroves grow in México: Rhizophora, Avicennia, Laguncularia and Conacarpus. Though Conacarpus is not strictly speaking a mangrove, it is so interrelated in the ecosystem it warrants inclusion in the category
Initially in playa viva there were only Laguncularia (white mangroves), and Concarpus (button mangrove), but after more then one year of working with the ecosystem, I was able to add Rhizophora (red mangrove) and Avicennia (Black mangrove). I found both species in near by estuaries and introduce them in the wetlands restoration program of Playa Viva.
The Mangroves are an extremely valuable part of the Playa Viva ecosystem—in every stage of their growth cycle. Mangrove leaves are an important source of food for a vast array of life in the estuary system. When the leaves fall into the water, before decomposing, they become habitat of bacteria that get eaten by Protozoa and microfungi and this by crustacean and so on. Thus a whole chain of life starts that, together with the costal reef system, is responsible for two thirds of all aquaculture in the tropics.
Mangroves also offer valuable protection for the estuary banks against erosion, hurricanes, storms and tides and excessive salinization of the land. The trees also offer habitat to many species of birds, insects, mammals and amphibious.
Yet these trees are also very vulnerable and have become increasingly in danger of extinction in Mexico and throughout the world. Mangroves are destroyed mainly by discharge of Chemical contaminants, drainage, and by cutting them to build waterside developments. There are currently around 2,191,233 acres of Mangroves in Mexico with more than 54,364 acres being destroyed every year.
In Playa viva we are restoring and preserving 125 acres, The United Nations determined that the environmental services of 1 acre is around 300,000 US dollars per year.
The real question here is: How can we develop the land while also restoring and preserving our valuable mangrove system?