Mangrove Maniacs working to Save Unique Nature on Bonaire

The youngest member of the Mangrove Maniacs is also trying her best to save nature.

KRALENDIJK – Along the edges of Lac Bai, the Mangrove Maniacs are planting trees to save Bonaire’s precious nature. Reforestation in this area is vital to prevent erosion that threatens the mangroves.

Biologist Sabine Engel leads the green project at the Kaminda Lac: “We are allowed to use this piece of land of about 7 hectares from the Public Entity, in order to plant hundreds of trees here. We will put Buttonwood here, a tree associated with mangrove, cultivated by Tera Barra. By planting here we want to prevent the erosion and death of the mangrove forest in Lac. There used to be many more trees, but they have disappeared over the years. We cannot lose this rare nature.”

On the hot Sunday morning, the maniacs got up early to contribute to the project. “First we fenced off the area here to keep the goats and donkeys out. Young plants obviously have no chance against the grazers,” the biologist explains about the progress. “After that we could start planting and we have the help of about 20 enthusiastic volunteers.”

Volunteers drive back and forth with clean water and fertile soil to give the new nature a good start. As a well-trained team, they quickly plant all young trees with shovels brought along. There is work to be done.


“It is absolutely necessary that we reforest this area”, emphasizes Sabine, “The mangroves around Lac are dying because of the sediments, deposits of, for example, soil, which flow into Lac through water and wind. If we do not plant trees here, erosion and salinization will occur. from the bottom. It then becomes much too salty for the mangroves and everything silts up. Bonaire then loses its unique nature.”

The neighbours of the adjacent plot are also present. They actively support reforestation. In recent years, they have already planted hundreds of trees on their own 33-hectare plot of land. Those plants have now grown into small trees. By keeping the goats and donkeys out there as well, the seeds manage to germinate and survive on their estate.


Sabine looks ahead: “The trees will need intensive care in the coming period; we will then water them regularly and check their growth. Thanks to our volunteers, we are still able to keep up, but we also need extra support from the government or sponsors. We For example, we will have to build a dam to prevent the water from flowing into Lac with the earth when it rains. But luckily we have now been assigned this site. We just have a lot to do.”

Mangrove Maniacs planting trees.
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