Mangroves of Kenya

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Little research has been done on the carbon sequestration and restoration of mangrove forests. Dr. Mark Huxham, of Edinburgh Napier University, is working to change that in the Gazi Bay of Kenya. Working with volunteers from Earthwatch Institute, he is studying the techniques in reestablishing lost mangroves and learning how these trees store carbon. Mangroves are vital ecosystems for both humans and animals by providing resources, habitat and protection.

Dr. Huxham’s team has transplanted hundreds of mangrove seedlings to restore lost mangrove forests. He has discovered that unlike many tree species, mangrove growth is more successful when planted closer together. His research has also shown that mangroves can change sediment quality to make it more desirable for other plant species therefore increasing biodiversity. He is also working to create a map of all the mangrove forests in Kenya as a conservation tool.

With the help of local people and Earthwatch volunteers, Dr. Huxham is working to develop a comprehensive conservation plan. He is working with the local government to provide protection for mangroves and to provide local people with a plan for sustainable use of this resource. His dedication to helping the people of Gazi Bay in improving their livelihoods is unparalleled.

Earthwatch Institute Website