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The Gulf of Mexico Foundation project reduces flooding and protects the coast
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Gulf of Mexico Program recently announced the Gulf of Mexico Foundation Mexico Chapter won a 2017 Gulf Guardian Award in the bi-national category. The foundation was recognized for work to restore coastal mangroves in the Mexican Gulf states of Veracruz, Campeche and Quintana Roo.
The Gulf of Mexico Foundation Mexico Chapter works to raise public awareness of wetlands and coastal habitats while working to conserve and restore these ecosystems. An area of particular concern is mangroves, a type of tree or shrub that grows in coastal waters. Mangroves provide many benefits, including nourishing coastal fisheries, reducing flood impact, connecting coastal ecosystems such as sea grasses and coral reefs, and filtering water. Mexico is among the four countries with largest mangrove surfaces, but also has one of the highest loss rates.
During 2015, the Mexico Chapter carried out a major project to restore mangroves in coastal lagoons in the Mexican Gulf States of Veracruz, Campeche and Quintana Roo. Working with unique conditions and threats at each site, the group restored almost 82 acres of mangroves, which benefitted an additional 370 acres of habitat. The restoration of coastal lagoons and mangroves will help reestablish habitats that sustain a wide variety of plants and animals, nourishing coastal fisheries and supporting complex food webs.