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Exploring the Mangrove Jungle on the Riviera Maya Coast in Mexico - An Adventure in Eco Travel and Green Living

Posted Oct 26 2010 6:03am

Exploring the amazing  Mayan Riviera coastline on the Yucatan Peninsula with Paul Sanchez-Navarro, Director of Centro Ecologico Akumal,  is truly a fantastic eco-travel and environmental experience. In the video below we visit the unique eco-system of the coastline mangrove jungles - literally climbing in the coastal waters to show viewers the eco-system - and educate on how important the mangroves are to water conservation on the coastline of Mexico.


Visiting the coastal mangroves with Paul is a fabulous eco-travel treat - it is true adventure to travel through a jungle - and he treats us to a view of the mangroves directly from the ocean. As you get closer to the jungle you can see this amazing forest of gnarled, jagged trees

protruding up from the sands and water. These roots are anchored in the coastal sand, yet sometimes you can find the roots thick in deep, black, mud, or in the cenote canals in the wetlands farther down the coast. At other times the ocean cleanses the roots and brings in millions of fish and ocean life in abundance and is what we see as we stand in the ocean water to shoot our video mini-series. Green fingers of jungle stretch above us to the hot sun. This is where land and ocean intertwine and life is reborn along the Mexican coast of the Yucatan peninsula.

Mangrove jungles are incredibly important to the coastline of Mexico and are really "rainforests by the sea" that grow in tropical and subtropical tidelands all over the world. Mangrove forests are comprised of  diverse, salt-tolerant tree and other plant species which thrive in salt water or a mix of fresh and salt water, specifically inter-tidal zones of estuaries, sheltered tropical shores, and small over-wash islands. While other plant life dies with the over-exposure to salt water, Mangrove trees have amazingly adapted unique aerial and salt-filtering roots and salt-excreting leaves that enable them to occupy the saline wetlands. The result is the Mangrove forest.

Mangrove forests are vital for healthy coastal ecosystems, in fact, this is why the Mexican government is restricting building along the coast. The forest detritus, consisting mainly of fallen leaves and branches from the mangroves, provides marine environment nutrients and supports baby "fish hatcheries" as well as immense varieties of sea life in intricate food chains. The shallow inter-tidal reaches that distinguish the mangrove wetlands offer refuge and nursery grounds for juvenile fish, crabs, shrimps, and mollusks. They are also prime nesting and migratory sites for hundreds of bird species. Many other animals occupy or temporarily utilize mangroves, including sea turtles, manatees, crab-eating monkeys, fishing cats, monitor lizards, birds, plus dozens of other varieties of fish use the mangroves as protected nurseries.

Centro Ecologico Akumal  is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1993, to "monitor the impact of development on the regional ecosystems and culture, to report findings and their significance to the public through education, and influence public policy". It's efforts to support and education on water conservation and eco-system protection are making a true difference in Akumal, Mexico. To support them by volunteering or donating, please go here - http://www.ceakumal.org .

Special thanks to www.villaakumal.com who allowed us to use their property. They are open for rentals all year long in Akumal and are wonderful to deal with.

To learn more about Shawna Coronado and her eco-adventures, please go to - www.thecasualgardener.com .

Production and editing done by Brooks Visuals - www.brooksvisuals.com

Special thanks to our sponsors for this amazing journey -

Thanks to our sponsor-hosts -

http://www.thecasualgardener.com , The Green Blog - http://www.gardeningnude.com , or The Garden Blog - http://thecasualgardener.blogspot.com


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