The Junior Mangrove Rangers spent Halloween exploring the amazing and scary critters which live in the red mangrove roots of Cayman’s Central Mangroves Wetlands. The trip was a way for the Cayman Islands Mangrove Rangers to raise awareness of mangroves and all that live within the habitat.

              “Snorkeling among this incredibly biodiverse ecosystem highlights everything from Upsidedown Jellyfish to schools of juveniles of just about all the fish you will find swimming around our coral reefs. And if you think snorkeling our reefs is exciting, you ain’t seen nothing yet,” enthuses Ranger founder Martin Keeley. “You might even encounter a sleepy nurse shark snoozing the day away.”

              The Junior Rangers are aged between 8 and 16 and work closely with the Mangrove Rangers to learn all about Cayman’s Marvellous Mangroves.  In fact, on the snorkel trip they were accompanied by several senior Rangers. The group explored the subsea mangrove ecosystem and its close interrelationship with the coastal lagoons of seagrass and reefs.

In relation to the benefits of mangroves, in Cayman, mangroves reduce waves and storm surges.  Ultimately, this is said to reduce the risk of property damage and loss of human life during storms. Unfortunately, not enough value is placed on these benefits and mangroves as natural capital. 

By increasing awareness of the mangroves, the Cayman Islands Mangrove Rangers may draw the attention of the government to the natural protection value of the mangroves and, with some luck, the government may eventually assign an economic value to mangroves in its national budgets.