FUN FACTS ABOUT THE MANGROVE LAGOON ON ST. THOMAS
We at Virgin Islands Ecotours consider ourselves very fortunate to be stewards of the mangrove lagoon on St. Thomas. If you haven’t explored this protected natural space yet, we invite you to join us for a guided tour. No matter how many times you visit, there’s always something new to discover, as nature is constantly changing.
What makes the mangrove lagoon so special, you ask? While the mangroves are often overshadowed by the VI’s beautiful beaches, the lagoon is a fascinating ecosystem worth spending time in. Here are a few fun facts about the mangroves:
- Mangroves are true botanical marvels. They have evolved special adaptations to survive in salt water, including complex root systems that help them cope with changing tides. They are also pioneers in colonizing saline environments. They have developed a unique way of excreting salt through special pores in their leaves, allowing them to thrive in conditions that would be inhospitable to many other plant species.
- Mangroves play a powerful role in protecting our coastlines. The dense network of their roots acts as a natural barrier, reducing the impact of storm surges and preventing erosion.
- Mangroves are bustling hubs of biodiversity. The ecosystem provides essential breeding and nursery grounds for a myriad of marine life, from fish and crabs to sharks and more. The intricate root system serves as a safe haven for countless juveniles, which is why it’s sometimes referred to as “the nursery.”
- Mangroves store carbon at rates higher than most tropical forests. This makes them invaluable in the fight against climate change, as they help reduce the levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide.
- Mangroves are beautiful to explore. Our lagoon is home to a network of channels that are intriguing to navigate your way through via kayak. No matter the time of day, you’ll encounter an array of plants and animals who love the protection and resources the lagoon provides. We highly recommend our sunset and night kayak tours for those who have already enjoyed daytime adventures!
The mangrove lagoon is a dynamic, resilient ecosystem with an abundance of natural life. We can’t wait to welcome you to one of our favorite spots in the USVI!