Mangroves – Liquid Forests

IMG_4242

Have you visited any unusual forests lately?  The Mangrove Forests of Florida’s Indian River Lagoon are impressive for many reasons and especially for their environmental significance.  Mangroves thrive in the shallow waters of this waterway.  These salt-tolerant plants with very unusual roots provide unique habitat for many creatures above and below the water line.  Birds, butterflies and insects flourish in the canopy – while fish, snakes, crabs and other wildlife occupy the lower branches, ground and water. 

Mangroves provide some of the most important nursery areas for young fish to safely develop into larger fish that can venture from this sanctuary.  Just imagine being a fish and having this wonderland to swim in – it is the perfect place to be with other fish, hunt for food or take refuge if a bigger fish has lunch on its mind.  

The high tides and low tides reveal a very different perspective of life in the mangrove forests – from roots submerged in liquid, to roots embedded in sand flats.  Check the tides to plan your visit.  Kayaking is a relaxing and enjoyable way to experience the mangrove forests  but many areas are easily accessible by foot….so enjoy.

Have you seen this video of Indian River Lagoon mangroves? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XmPEkSPHsXA

Note: The new 2014 Indian River Lagoon Calendar is out, free and available at many of the public libraries in Brevard and Martin County.  This educational calendar is filled with vibrant photos of life with our lagoon.