Andros Mangrove Restoration, Bahamas.
Andros is characterised by mangrove estuaries. These are important nursery, feeding and refuge habitats for fish, birds, turtles, sea mammals and invertebrates, some of which are vital for cleaning algae off the Andros Barrier Reef; the third longest barrier reef in the world. Mangroves are vitally important to the overall health of an entire ecosystem: they represent a significant carbon sink, an important habitat, protection to coasts from storms and climate change and maintain a healthy reef. When three causeways were built across the Love Hill mangroves over 50 years ago, some culverts were installed to maintain water flow. These however are now broken or clogged. This has resulted in a degraded mangrove area and reef. It is encroached by the invasive casuarina pine, clogged with marine litter, smelling of methane and seriously degraded as a habitat. This project will restore and enhance tidal flow and therefore habitat in 96 square hectares of mangrove, by cleaning out, repairing and installing new culverts on all three causeways, and by replacing invasive pines with native species. By restoring the mangrove habitat, the fish populations in the open ocean and the health of the barrier reef will also be improved. Love Hill, Andros will be restored as an attractive area to explore, bird watch, kayak, swim and walk.