Photo: (La Jornada Maya)

Program to restore 200 hectares of mangrove begins in Dzilam de Bravo

YUCATAN, (July 19, 2021).- Yucatán has around 20 thousand hectares of degraded mangrove, which represents 20 percent of the total of the state, revealed Dr. Jorge Herrera Silveira, a researcher at the Center for Research and Advanced Studies (Cinvestav), Mérida, of the National Polytechnic Institute ( IPN).

The main actions that have impacted the mangrove, according to him, are the construction of roads, which obstruct the flow of water and cause severe damage to the environment and fisheries.

On July 16, the Ecological Restoration of Mangroves project on the north coast of Yucatán, Dzilam de Bravo Region, promoted by Pronatura Peninsula de Yucatán A.C. (PPY), the Cinvestav and community residents known as “Los Restauradores de Dzilam de Bravo“, with which it is intended to reforest, in two years, more than 200 hectares in this area and thus recover this ecosystem of vital importance for the coastal area of the Yucatan.

The project is financed by the National Forestry Commission (Conafor), which will contribute 4 million pesos through the Environmental Compensation Program for Land Use Change in Forest Lands (CUSTF) 2021 – 2022, in order to carry out actions of restoration of soils, reforestation, protection, and maintenance, and thus rehabilitate deteriorated forest ecosystems, control or avoid degradation processes of the same and partially or totally recover the conditions that favor their conservation and evolution.

According to the National Commission for the Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity (Conabio), Yucatán has more than 97 thousand hectares of mangroves.

The sediment of the dead mangrove is transformed into carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, which goes into the atmosphere, impacts climate change, and the soil level drops, so cannot grow on it.

In general, he indicated that the degree of affectation is severe because there are dead mangrove trees, where the wood has already degraded and they have ceased to exist. This severely affects the environment: for example, with last year’s heavy rains, a large part of the coast was flooded, and mangroves absorbed all that water.

“The mangrove soil serves as a sponge to absorb water during the rains,” the expert said.

In addition, he indicated, fishing has also been affected because the mangrove species are recruited in their juvenile state, which then goes to the sea to grow, and this connection of the mangrove with the sea has been lost due to the illegal constructions.

“These seagrasses are very important to combat erosion because their roots keep the sand, but if these are eliminated there is nothing to retain it”, Dr. Jorge Herrera Silveira concluded.

The Yucatan Times Newsroom