Learning about UAE Mangroves on a Beach Clean-Up with the ADMCS

This past weekend I participated in the Abu Dhabi Marine Conservation Society's Beach Clean-Up Day at Al Harmia Beach in the Western Regions. (Thank you Salem for letting me know about it! I love that my former students remember my interest in these types of events).

You can follow and keep up with their events on Instagram: @admcgroup

Although I will be writing a blog post about the clean up and the group separately, I really felt the need to share what I learned about Mangroves - although I see them from my apartment I didn't really know a lot about them before yesterday.

Mangroves are vital for the health of the marine environment - Mangroves clean the air, water and provide a habitat for fish, bird and larger sea creatures... they also protect beaches from erosion and high tides... and they are beautiful and peaceful and quite inspiring.

Mangroves - view from Reem Island
While we were cleaning up the garbage in the thick seaweed, Shamsa and Maitha Al Hameli, sisters and founding members of the group, were also picking up green shoots that were growing in the seaweed... When they mentioned what they were I was fascinated... and I went into student mode!

This is a baby mangrove - which will die as the roots will not survive in the thick seaweed - they need to be transplanted to sand... and be near other mangroves
Each baby mangrove is treated as a treasure by the young women

We start with a clump of seaweed and baby trees (OK seedlings)

Seedlings actually germinate and start "life" on the mother mangrove tree, then the wind, tides or birds "transplant" them naturally

Carefully cleaning the seaweed from the roots is the next step

Then transplanting them near other seedlings....

A new mangrove "forest" is in its earliest stages... most likely seedlings from the plantation growing on the other side of the artificial reef

Thank you ladies - it was a great morning and great learning experience for me... I am looking forward to the next clean-up!

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