Mangrove Research & Conservation
Pedasi, located within the grossly deforested Azuero peninsula, is under constant threat by the expansion of agriculture and unsustainable tourism operations. Mangroves play an enormous ecological and safety role in this coastal community. Yet if drastic and immediate action is not taken to study and protect them, they will continue to be destroyed to make way for ocean-front resorts. We believe it is imperative to bring attention to the value of mangroves as:
· Natural barriers preventing soil erosion and protecting inhabitants from tropical storms, floods, and sea level rise.
· Bio-filters attenuating nutrient pollution in upland runoff, both from agriculture and septic waste.
· Critically important habitat for a wide range of commercial aquatic species, including fish, shrimp, mollusks and crabs.
· As well as nurseries for many threatened and endangered species, like green sea turtles.
· Important carbon sinks, sequestering more carbon than many of their terrestrial counterparts.
· When sustainably utilized, an alternative source for eco-tourism and non-timber forest products (NTFP) such as: small-scale aquiculture, apiculture, natural plant-based dyes and natural medicines.
As such, we are actively seeking volunteers and funding for
1) An environmental education initiative concerning mangroves
2) A series of ecological studies to characterize the current health of mangrove habitats in Pedasi.
3) The development and execution of a mangrove rehabilitation plan, which will include mangrove beach cleanings and reforestations.