Despite increasing awareness regarding value and importance, the destruction of mangrove swamps continues to take place in many parts of the world under a variety of economic as-well-as political motives. In some areas, mangroves are protected by law but a lack of enforcement coupled with the economic incentive to reclaim land results in deliberate destruction.
The two adjacent photos show a red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle) swamp that was poisoned by an "accidental" fuel spill.
Since the ecosystem is no longer functional the property owner is now able to reclaim the land in the absence of governmental jurisdiction. Photos were taken during a site visit by Bob Riley in 1999, while working on restoration projects in the caribbean.
As shown in the photo below, development can encroach on natural areas leading to
their degradation and ultimate destruction. Although unanticipated, a loss of habitat can result from a variety of anthropogenic influences that modify the surrounding infrastructure, introduce pollutants, change hydrology, and increase direct human interaction.
This mangrove forest has been under pressure from development for more than a decade; photo was taken in March 2001.
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