What are the mangroves? What are they good for, if anything? Did Hurricane Ivan destroy them?
These questions and more were addressed last weekend on a mangrove boat cruise organised by the National Trust for the Cayman Islands.
Mr. John Bothwell, a marine biologist with the Department of the Environment, shared his personal experience and professional knowledge, answering questions and pointing out details the untrained eye might miss.
Mr. Bothwell’s presentation was reinforced with a helpful fact sheet, recently revised by Trust volunteer Marnie Laing.
Mangroves serve not only as a storm buffer but also as a nursery for juvenile sea creatures that need food and protection from predators, those on the tour learned.
Trust general manager Frank Roulstone thanked Mr. Bothwell and Ms Laing for their participation. He emphasised that the mangrove tours would not be possible without the dive operators who committed to provide vessels for such trips.
On Saturday, the generous boat owner was Mr. Danny Kupkowski of Off the Wall Divers.
The Trust plans to offer mangrove cruises the last Saturday of each month. Cost is $10 for trust members, $15 for non-members.