This past July, Pigeon Key partnered with the organization MANG to bring juvenile mangroves to our shorelines. Around 1,000 red mangroves were planted with the help of volunteers and various local organizations. This project had been inspired by the founders of MANG, brothers Kyle and Keith Rossin, after they learned about the destruction of our island’s mangroves after Hurricane Irma in 2017.
Mangroves are a vital plant for all of Florida Keys ecosystems. They provide food and shelter for a wide variety organisms and also aid in stabilizing sediment to prevent erosion. Research has shown that 70% of marine organisms rely on the habitats that mangroves provide. This important project will help strengthen Pigeon Key’s shorelines and continue to provide habitats for the marine life that can be found around the island.
It was a pleasure to work side by side with MANG because they share our values that education is key for the next generation of ocean stewards. Our marine science summer campers got in on the fun and those students ranged from elementary school through high school. Other organizations pitched in on the big effort too: Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium, Protect Our Reefs, Florida Fish and Wildlife, Dry-Tortugas National Park Service, National Audubon Society, Surfrider Florida Keys and the Coral Restoration Foundation.
It was a day to be remembered here on Pigeon Key. Everyone came together with a common goal in mind and we are forever appreciative of their efforts. We even worked with MANG to make a custom long-sleeved rash guard for the day! You can find them on our website through our online store and each shirt purchased is included in their Buy One, Plant One initiative. You can find more photos and footage from the event on our Facebook page!