Placencia Mangrove Planting Project Organized in Memory of Environmentalist Adrian Vernon Print E-mail
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Thursday, 05 June 2014 00:00

On Friday morning more than forty volunteers gathered in the Crimson Development community area of Placencia Village to participate in a mangrove planting activity organized in memory of environmentalist Adrian Vernon.

 Approximately four hundred seedlings were planted by members of the Vernon family, the World Wildlife Fund, the Southern Environmental Association, Oceana, the Placencia Village Council, Placencia Citizens for Sustainable Development, the Placencia Fishermen’s Cooperative, Friends of the Placencia Lagoon and the Coco Plum Resort and Residential Development. The mangroves now line the canal adjacent to the Placencia airstrip and will serve as a buffer for the residential plots of the Crimson Development community area.

Adrian Vernon, a staunch advocate for the protection of the Placencia lagoon as well as national mangrove restoration initiatives, passed away in February 2014. Vernon’s commitment to the environment was recognized in 2012 when the Belize Audubon Society presented him with the prestigious James A. Waight award. During the planting exercise, SEA announced that other initiatives, including a scholarship will be named in honor of Adrian Vernon and a Mangrove Restoration Guide.

Like coral reefs, mangrove forests are extremely productive ecosystems that provide numerous good and services both to the marine environment and people; goods and services that are conservatively estimated to worth hundreds of millions each year. Mangroves provide vital nursery grounds for many fish species, including coral reef fish, crab, shrimp and mollusks. The dense root systems of mangroves also trap sediments flowing down rivers and off the land, thereby helping to stabilize the coastline and preventing erosion from waves and storms.

Adrian Vernon was a passionate advocate of mangrove forests in both his home village of Placencia and across Belize. The environmental community was proud to organize this project in his memory and highlight the importance of mangroves to us all.