How do trees stop hurricanes? – June 2023

June 28, 2023

Protecting Haiti’s Environment for Generations to Come!

This is a mangrove forest on the island of La Gonave, Haiti. La Gonave has more than 170km (43mi) of coastline, over HALF of which is made up of mangrove forests. These mangrove trees are more than beautiful—they provide an essential service to the island.

Mangrove trees grow in forests on coastlines around the world, one of the only coastal plants that can survive off of saltwater.

Their densely tangled roots contain a rich habitat of fish and other wildlife and trap sediment from the ocean within, building up the soil of the coastline (sometimes even creating their own islands!). These soil-trapping forests provide their coastlines with protection from the erosion that results from waves, tides, flooding—and most importantly for La Gonave, tropical storms.

That’s why our Haitian partner, Rasin Devlopman, has partnered with Ayiti Community Trust, a Haitian diaspora organization, and CAPEELAG, an environmental group on the island, to help replant and replenish the mangrove forests of La Gonave.

To celebrate World Environment Day this month, Rasin helped mobilize a group of volunteers of everyone from students to coal miners to plant 200 mangrove seedlings along La Gonave’s coastline.

These mangroves will protect the island’s coast for 100 years, establish a new forest, and prevent unknowable amounts of damage and erosion.

This project is just one of the ways that Roots of Development and Rasin Devlopman build partnerships between community members, other local groups on the island, and the Haitian diaspora around the world. Projects like these connect the people of La Gonave more deeply with the island and help make its success and protection a community responsibility.

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