Love Hill 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, all vital for cleaning algae which settles on 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 and provide protection to coasts from storms and climate change. 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, and where no culverts were built, the mangroves are only nourished during high tides when water floods over the causeway. This has resulted in a degraded mangrove area. 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.