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Jupiter Narrows Conservation Alliance makes push to restore mangroves in northern Palm Beach County

Mangroves play major role sustaining marine biodiversity
Posted at 7:42 PM, Mar 01, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-01 19:42:37-05

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — A nonprofit is on a mission to restore and protect mangroves in northern Palm Beach County.

The Ocean Conservancy, the nation's oldest marine nonprofit, announced Friday its support of the newly formed Jupiter Narrows Conservation Alliance.

The group will work to save the mangrove islands at Jupiter Narrows, located along the Indian River, as well as its surrounding seagrasses.

Conservationists said there's an urgent need to take action.

"Mangroves want to live on Florida water ... so if we can create the conditions for them to thrive, they will thrive," Jon Paul Brooker, Florida's director for conservation at Ocean Conservancy, said. "Our aspiration is to help create those conditions for them to bring them back. These mangroves are really at the brink, but that doesn't mean the mangroves don't belong there or can't thrive there, so we're hopeful to make them thrive there."

The document below provided by the Ocean Conservancy shows the reduction of mangroves at the Jupiter Narrows since the mid-1990s:

Jupiter Narrows is near the La Mar condo building.

"My grandmother was the first resident to purchase a condo here at La Mar. I have watched the decline of these precious mangrove islands firsthand for almost 50 years," Sue Panella, a founding member of the Jupiter Narrows Conservation Alliance, said. "This partnership with Ocean Conservancy signified a united effort to address the environmental threats and ensure a sustainable future for our community."

Mangroves play a major role in sustaining marine biodiversity and protecting the entire ecosystem.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said mangroves also stabilize the shoreline and help prevent damage to coastal properties due to storm surge or erosion.

Mangroves also help maintain water and remove pollutants from land that would otherwise end up in estuaries and waterways.