Southwest Florida is blessed to have some of the most beautiful Mangrove Forests remaining in the world. These salt resistant trees thrive along the shallow coast and provide habitat for a myriad of creatures and protection from storm winds and tides.
The Red Mangrove (Rhizophora mangle) is found at water's edge....easily identified by it's prop roots.
Here's a wonderful tour of Mangrove Swamps
Mangroves are best explored by kayak as the water is shallow and the forest all but impenetrable on foot.
Red Mangrove prop roots
Yellow Crowned Night Heron (Nyctanassa violacea).
A tangle of mangle
Mangrove forests purify fresh water runoff from the land and also contamination from the Gulf water.
Called "Walking Trees" by early settlers, Mangroves are true Florida natives.
Boardwalk through White Mangroves (Laguncularia recemosa) at Four Mile Ecological Preserve in Cape Coral, Florida
Kayaking in the Charlotte Harbor estuary
Into another Mangrove tunnel toward hidden lagoons.
Evening at harbor's edge. Ponce De Leon Park, Punta Gorda, Florida
There are lots of great kayaks for Mangrove exploration. Current Designs is my favorite.
Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) in the shallows.
Mangroves form new islands and eventually new shorefront.
Paddling into a Mangrove tunnel.
Red Mangrove blossom
Don Pedro State Park is a great spot to observe Mangroves, both from the shore and in the water.
Red Mangrove seeds drop into the water and take root wherever they find a suitable spot.
American Oystercatcher (Haematopus palliatus) in the flats.
Red Mangrove seedpods
Mote Marine Labs biologist tagging juvenil snook (Centropomus undecimalis).
Sierra Club Florida...working for all of our environment.
Kesemat Mangrover is working to restore Indonesia's Mangroves after the Tsunami of 2004.
Here's a link to the Mangrove Action Project. The work on preservation and restoration of these fascinating coastal forests.
Mangrove.org is working to preserve this resource.
I hope you will visit our wonderful Mangrove Forests here in Southwest Florida.