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Image Source
Info Source:
National Geographic

Mangrove Tree

Mangroves are rare, tangled trees that live half in the water, half on the land. They thrive in salty, low-oxygen conditions along coastlines. In the Virgin Islands, there are 3 types of mangroves: Red, Black and White, varying in the amount of water submersion and salinity they can tolerate.

Mangrove forests are vital to the Salt River Bay watershed for many reasons. Not only do Mangrove forests provide an essential habitat for many species, including birds, crabs, insects and larval fish, but they also benefit people and the environment. Mangroves protect shorelines against erosion by acting as a buffer from storms. By trapping sediment, debris and contaminants in their root systems, Mangrove trees are able to keep the bay and reefs clean and healthy.

While not listed as endangered, the mangrove system located in Salt River Bay is the largest remaining mangrove system remaining in the Virgin Islands. Mangroves are, however, listed as threatened and are legally protected. The largest threats to these trees include land development and natural causes, such as storms.