San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Damaged Mangroves Can be Replanted Easily

Dear Nica Times:

It breaks a tree-hugger’s heart to read about the devastation that Hurricane Felix caused in Nicaragua. But as The Nica Times Nov. 16 Perspective headline says, “Environment Knocked Down, Not Out,” and helping nature to recover is sometimes a very easy thing that can be done by everybody.

And I mean everybody – even those who are just passing by.

Thousands of mangrove seeds wash up on the beaches every year. String-bean-like, long green thin sticks, one end with a brownish point, the other end with a tiny leaf coming out.

Pick them up and put them in a bucket of water (which you must change at least once a week; otherwise you provide a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes and dengue).

The seeds even sprout in ocean water, which poses less of a potential for breeding mosquitoes. Let them root (with little developed roots they have a better chance to survive) and plant them in the destroyed mangrove areas.

In one year you’ll be happily surprised by how the area will have recovered.We, the Environmental Committee of Playa Sámara, have done this as an educational project with our local school kids.

But you can do it alone. Every time you walk on the beach, collect the seeds and stick them directly into the soil at the site of the destroyed mangrove.

For the reforestation of the lost mangrove swamps in Nicaragua, I could imagine thousands of seeds collected on Caribbean beaches, brought to the site and planted in a group effort in a couple of days. It’s a lot of fun – just do it.

If it were not for the distance, I would donate my 1,000-rooted mangrove seedlings in a minute – I’m collecting more seeds daily.

Berit Funke

Playa Sámara, Nicoya, Costa Rica


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