PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — Mangroves are crucial to Florida’s ecosystem.
It’s one of the most important parts of Florida but it’s under threat from population and building booms.
Nearly 70% of fish in Florida depend on mangroves at some point in their lives.
Twins Keith and Kyle Rossin of West Palm Beach are not only leaders in planting them in South Florida, but they’re also involved with restoring patches illegally cut down.
WPTV anchor Mike Trim talked spoke with the Rossin twins and followed along as they checked up on past projects that are thriving in Palm Beach County.
While boating the Intracoastal waterway in Jupiter Keith Rossin pointed out areas of missing mangroves.
“We’re looking for areas like that," Keith Rossin said. "exposed shoreline where old mangroves used to be that got ripped out that need to be replaced."
The Rossins led a mangrove planting project next to the Jupiter Lighthouse in May 2022. The mangroves now provide critical shoreline protection.
"Without these wave breaks and these mangroves here, this shoreline would continue to be eroding and look how close the lighthouse is,” Kyle Rossin said.
These projects all start at the Rossins' mangrove farm in West Palm Beach, called the Mang Farm.
“This is where they start the stage of life in our farm, where they grow up for about a year before we take them into the larger part of our farm,” Kyle Rossin said, while pointing out some of the 10,000 mangroves growing.
“There’s a little bit of an emotional connection. They’re kind of like our babies,” Kyle Rossin said.
“We grew up fishing Florida, diving Florida seeing the beauty of Florida in our childhood. Mangroves are a part of that," Keith Rossin said. "By protecting mangroves we’re in essence we’re protecting our communities."
That protection effort includes replanting mangroves illegally cut down.
The Rossins said they will help replant mangroves that were removed from the Sandpiper Bay Resort in Port St. Lucie.
Florida’s Department of Environmental protection is investigating after several mangroves were removed.
At Jupiter’s Sawfish Park, the twins checked up on their project that started in 2022.
"For us to come back and see the success rates that we see right now," Kyle Rossin said. "A lot of green tops, not a lot of dead ones and that’s a good sign.”
Re-upping the Rossins' mangrove mission consists of boating and netting out mangrove seedlings.
“So, we’ll take some of these and these are exactly what we take back to the nursery,” Kyle Rossin said, as he fished out about a dozen mangrove seedlings from the Jupiter Inlet.
Working together is something the Rossins are proud of.
“I couldn’t have done it without Keith and Keith couldn’t have done it without me,” Kyle Rossin said.
The Rossin twins have an apparel line called Mang.
They promise to plant one mangrove for every one item purchased on their Mang website found here.