While mangroves may seem like a distant concern, it is actually very important to us. Mangroves help to maintain water quality, protect wildlife and coasts. Mangroves can treat wastes in rivers and streams. Roots of mangroves trap wastes and filter the water before it flows back into the sea. Bacteria in soil can break down the biodegradable wastes and convert them into nutrients for mangroves. The roots of mangroves also hold the soil together firmly and prevent it from being washed into the river. Mangroves can also protect coastal areas from erosions. It can absorb the impact of currents and strong wind, creating a natural shield that helps to stop erosion. Mangroves are good breeding and nursery grounds for many fish and other animals. Many ocean fish raise their young in mangroves. Murky water in the mangroves can provide camouflage for young fish, making it difficult for predators to find them.
Also, cavity between the roots of the Rhizophora tree can protect young fish from predators which are too large to enter through the roots of the tree. These ‘nurseries’ are very important for marine life. Mangroves also provide rich food sources for the animals. Mangrove plants produce lots of leaf litter which are directly consumed by some small animals, such as crabs. The litter is further broken down by bacteria and fungi, increasing its protein, making it into food for fish and prawns. They in turn provide food for larger fish and other animals. The mangroves are important because if they are lost, so will be the fish and fishing industry, thus affecting economy of the country. Without the mangroves, more people would die during natural disasters and quality of the water we use would not be as good. Thus, it is important for us to conserve the mangroves.