Mangroves are extremely valuable for coastal ecosystems. They support coastal fisheries by acting as breeding grounds for juvenile fish. Their roots stabilize the shore, provide life-saving protection from the effects of hurricanes and trap pollutants within their sediment. Without mangroves, many coastal fishing areas and habitats would deteriorate.
Mangroves once blanketed Miami Beach. As with many coastal areas of the world, the mangroves of Miami Beach were decimated in the name of progress and development, as shown in the photo to the left looking west down Lincoln Road (Courtesy of the Florida Photographic Collection). The photo below depicts early Miami Beach developers clearing Mangrove Forest around 1905 at the site of present-day Lincoln Road.
Currently, we have lost 50% of the world's mangrove forest, and we continue to lose hundreds of acres of mangrove forest every year. In collaboration with the Miami Science Museum, the Reclamation Project aims to reverse the trend of mangrove forest loss by increasing awareness of the mangrove's importance and taking action to reclaim coastal areas by planting mangrove seedlings.