Mangroves are a crucial part of the Cayman Islands coastline where they protect communities from storms, prevent erosion, store carbon, and are an important habitat for threatened species. The Cayman Islands’ mangrove forests serve as a sanctuary for sea turtles, parrots, iguanas, lobsters, sea horses and many fish species. Since 1970, 3,900 acres of mangrove forest have been lost in the Cayman Islands and with only 1,500 acres of mangrove left it is vital to protect this remaining area.

The Cayman Islands Government recently adopted the Species Conservation Plan, which formalizes mangrove protection and makes it illegal to remove or damage mangrove forests. However, Cayman’s mangroves are still threatened by over-development, unsustainable removal of mangrove resources and climate change.

The Cayman Islands Mangrove Rangers program has been established to protect the Islands’ last remaining mangrove forests. The program trains young Caymanians to protect the remaining mangroves and to help create a sustainable future for the Cayman Islands. The rangers are working to protect the mangroves and to educate and enable students, teachers, and local communities to understand the importance of these incredible ecosystems.  As well as raising community awareness, the rangers are collecting vital data on the health of the mangroves and are monitoring mangrove destruction through illegal forest removal and coastal development. They ensure that developers and landscapers are aware of the laws surrounding mangroves and the Species Conservation Plan in the Cayman Islands. ​

To find out more about their brilliant work, visit their website here