In an effort to teach the importance of mangrove conservation, The Galley Bay Resort of Antigua partnered with the Sunny Day Primary School to organize a local clean-up campaign. Small island developing nations like Antigua and Barbuda depend heavily on the Mangrove system. According to the World Wildlife Federation (WWF), much like coral reefs, mangrove forests are extremely productive ecosystems that provide numerous good and services both to the marine environment and people.
According to a recent report by WWF, these goods and services are conservatively estimated to be worth US$186 million each year. They include fisheries, timber and plant products, coastal protection, and of course, tourism. They aid in the development of land, by capturing sedimentation in their roots, they help with the retention of fresh water by slowing down the rate of run-off water. They act as nurseries for a number of marine species and they serve as a habitat for reptiles and birds, as well as protect coastal areas from storm surges.
Given the mangrove’s significant contribution to our environment, hospitality and tourism industry must be forefront advocates for their maintenance and conservation. It only takes a few hours of service to guarantee the continued development and protection of mangroves plains. Starting your environmental stewardship program is not a complex task. For assistance on spearheading your own clean-up initiative, contact Christine at Galley Bay Resort at firstname.lastname@example.org.