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.
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.