Wishful thinking has it that playful Black Skimmers actively participate in the propagation
of mangroves in estuarine and oceanic environments. Over the years I often watched and sometimes photographed these birds carrying propagules like the one above along the coast
of SW Florida. If left alone the plant seeds will evolve quickly into bushes, trees and even
forests creating a theater for an active local fauna in and around mangrove ecosystems. And, because of their ability to fix, filter and store Carbon as well as toxins, they ultimately improve
the quality of water and air by reducing emissions of carbon dioxide... Simply put, the more
mangroves, the more oxygen. Much of this has been studied, discussed and written about.
My humble intent here is to add some visual drumbeat to the science. In the time since I was
born, earth’s population has more than tripled. Resources are getting thin. Global warming with coastal waters on the rise seems to be irreversible for current and future generations. Mangroves, often neglected and even damaged or razed, offer an important natural defense. They grow
fast, given the right conditions, and there’s no lack of space for them... The red mangrove
propagule below found anchor in suitable muck, while those close by are showing first green.