This article was originally published on Phys.org.


“The natural coastal defenses provided by mangrove forests reduce annual flooding significantly in critical hotspots around the world. Without mangroves, flood damages would increase by more than $65 billion annually, and 15 million more people would be flooded, according to a new study published March 10 in Scientific Reports.

“Mangroves provide incredibly effective natural defenses, reducing  and damages,” said Pelayo Menéndez, a postdoctoral fellow in the Institute of Marine Sciences at UC Santa Cruz and first author of the paper.

…Mangrove forests occur in more than 100 countries globally. But many mangroves have been lost to aquaculture and coastal development, including the construction of public infrastructure such as ports and airports… The new study rigorously valued the social and economic coastal protection benefits provided by mangroves globally. Many 20-kilometer coastal stretches, particularly those near cities, receive more than $250 million annually in flood protection benefits from mangroves.

The researchers are working with insurance companies, the World Bank, and conservation groups to use these results for risk reduction and conservation.”

Read on at: Phys.org