In our day of ecological concern, there are always a number of studies of natural solutions to pollution problems that come to our attention. Recently there have been some new studies reported on mangroves. Mangroves are trees that grow along the coastal areas of tropical and subtropical regions. They have elaborate root systems that sprawl above and below the water line and thus they edge many coastal areas. If you have fished in the coastal waters of Florida you have seen the forests of mangroves that provide cover for fish and many animals including monkeys, various cats, and a variety of shellfish and corals. There are some 73 known species of mangroves and they all offer enormous ecological advantages to man and to the planet as a whole.
McGill University scientists have found that mangroves remove massive amounts of carbon, more than any terrestrial forests. Every year some 42 million tons of carbon are removed — roughly equivalent to the annual carbon emissions of 25 million cars. Mangroves handle extreme heat very well remaining active even in the hottest times of the day. A 30-foot mangrove will use three times less water than a similar sized pine tree. The root system of mangroves filter salt and oxygen and bolster the soil. Mangroves anchor and protect the shoreline. In the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami areas with mangroves were much less damaged than other areas. The mangroves reduced the height of the waves and reduced the energy of the tsunami. Mangroves offer great value to coastal areas during hurricanes in very much the same way.
When God created the earth, he built into the earth a variety of living and nonliving structures that would handle the waste products and earth elements that could do damage to man. It is tragic that we have allowed mangroves to be harvested for wood, food, lumber and medicine to such an extent that our supply of mangroves has been reduced 35% since 1980. We need to understand that part of the design of the earth provides ecological balance and must be restored and cared for. God told us this in Genesis 2:15 when he said to take care of the garden “to dress it and keep it.” We have not done that well, and we pay a heavy price when we allow selfishness and greed to recklessly destroy what God has designed for our well being. Source: Discover magazine, April 2011, page 19.