To commemorate World Mangrove Day (26 July), multiple environmental organisations came together to launch an awareness campaign, culminating in an educational kayak event last Saturday around the Safehaven area.
More than 50 interested residents attended the event organised by the Mangrove Rangers, Ambassadors of the Environment, Mangrove Education Project, and Cayman Mangrove Conservation.
In the week following World Mangrove Day, a series of educational features highlighted the true value of this ecosystem. These included the brand new Mangrove Rangers website (mangroverangers.ky), social media posts, thought-provoking videos, and content related to the Mangrove Species Conservation Law.
Participants learned firsthand how mangrove ecosystems function, together with their associated species, such as cassiopea, fiddler crabs, and many juvenile fish, which rely on mangrove roots to protect them while they grow.
They also learned how to classify the key types of mangroves (red, black, white), in addition to recognising their special traits. For many residents, this was their first time in a kayak and their first major lesson about this ecosystem. Many were surprised to learn that nearly 70% of Grand Cayman’s mangroves have been destroyed since the 1970s.
The new Mangrove Rangers in training will be announced at the end of the month and will begin operations in September.