Saving threatened habitats worldwide

Reef & Mangrove Appeal

Coral by Toby Gibson

The Reef & Mangrove appeal was launched in response to the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami after our partner organisations contacted WLT for help with mangrove and coral recovery. Find out how the WLT has helped restore reef and mangrove habitat...

Project aim

The Reef & Mangrove appeal aims to raise funds for coral reef and mangrove protection and regeneration projects. It is important to protect both mangroves and coral reefs as they are incredibly diverse but threatened ecosystems with important roles in protecting the coasts against the forces of the sea.

Partners:

Wildlife Trust of India »
Philippine Reef & Rainforest Project »

Other projects in India and the Philippines:

Indian Elephant Corridors Appeal »
Philippine Reef & Rainforest project (completed project) »

How WLT is helping

WLT funded the restoration of mangroves on the Danjugan coastline after WLT helped purchase the Island in 2000. WLT also helped PRRCF to replant mangroves on the adjacent Island of Negros, which are now well established. The local community on the island had realized too late that it had been a mistake to destroy their mangroves and they were witnessing a good deal more coastal damage and soil erosion.

More recently the WLT has funded a feasibility study for coral restoration in India, which will be managed by WTI and funded by a corporate donor based in India.

Funding needed

The WLT is not currently working on a Reef or Mangrove project, however, if you would like to support this appeal:

Donate to the Action Fund »

  • Specify "Reef & Mangrove Appeal" in the comments box to earmark your donation for the Reef & Mangrove Appeal.
Established Mangroves
Established mangroves on Danjugan Island.

Importance of Reefs and Mangroves

Mangroves:

Mangrove trees possess several ingenious and unique adaptations making them one of the most important trees on Earth:

  • The only species of tree which flourishes in sea water.
  • Regenerate quickly from propagules.
  • Provide vital structure to coastlines, their arching roots trap sediment that would otherwise be washed back by the waves.
  • Act as a barrier between sea and land, protecting vulnerable coastal communities from the impact of waves.
  • Mangroves and their root systems provide habitats for; bats, spawning fish, lobsters, manatees and birds.

Coral Reefs:

  • Among the most diverse ecosystems in the world - the "Rainforests of the Seas".
  • It is estimated that one-third of all the world's fish species depend on coral for their existence.
  • One of the most productive ecosystems on Earth, providing important services to mankind including fisheries, recreation and tourism.
  • Play an important role in coastal protection by slowing down potentially damaging tidal waves;
  • Act as sensitive indicators of water quality.
  • Considered ‘medicine chests’ of the future. Scientists believe that their organisms could well hold the key to cures for cancer, and coral skeletons are already being used as bone substitutes in reconstructive bone surgery.

Threats to Reefs and Mangroves

Mangroves often run parallel to coral reefs and have an important relationship. While mangroves thrive in brackish, nutrient-rich waters, coral reefs need clear, nutrient poor waters. Mangroves purify the water of silt, human waste and nutrients, providing the clean water that corals need to thrive. But both mangroves and reefs are at risk.

  • Mangroves: destroyed to make way for tourist resorts, or cut for firewood.
  • Reefs: destroyed by pollution, dynamite fishing, cement making, harmful tourist activities and coral collecting for souvenirs for tourists and export.

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