It's Mangrove Monday and our task for today is to fill all the empty bottles with fresh soil and new mangrove propagules.
We are nine volunteers and everyone is super motivated!
The strong boys started to build a cage to place all the bottles and they did a great job! It's separated in two spaces for bottle bottoms and bottle tops. The purpose of the cage is to make the separation process easier, keep the nursery neat, tidy and organised, and to prevent bottles blowing all over the place when the wind picks up.
The other part of the group filled up over 600 new bottles with soil and propagules. After a month or so when they have 2 - 4 leaves, but more importantly a established root system, we take all the little mangroves to plant them along the beach as we did three weeks ago. The purpose of growing them in a nursery is to allow the root system to develop so that when we plant them in the wild they have a greater chance of survival and are more stable in the fine sediments found in mangrove swamps.
To be honest it can be really hard sometimes to work in the mangroves nursery the whole day. It's hot and sweaty and you just want to jump in the pool to freshen up but at the end of the day it's a great feeling to know that you are part of a team who helps to make a little change in the world, this is marine conservation at a grass roots level.
Mangroves are amazing and they are so important for the environment and our whole ecological system. We care about the ocean and we care about the animals who live in that ocean and that's why we don't care if we get dirty or sweaty. It's for Fiji Baby!