Some of my frequent paddle boards ventures are around the Florida coastal mangroves. They are enjoyable because of the aquatic forest getaway feel. They provide a barrier from the winds on the gusty days and a refuge from the beach crowds. The mangroves are filled with wildlife, so most trips you are are guaranteed to see a variety of birds, including: ibis, osprey, egrets, and diving brown pelicans. In the shallower waters you’ll see a variety of fish and stingrays actively darting around. Occasionally, you be rewarded with a dolphin, manatee or small shark, typically bonnet heads. They are small, no need to be afraid.
The mangroves are fun to explore as they have many water paths which lead curious explorers deeper into the groves, providing a labyrinth of trails and openings. However, you should be very careful navigating, as all the mangroves’ trees, bushes, and paths begin to look alike. Thus, making it easy to get turned around or lost.
If you can’t explore in person right now, here’s a short Venture Terra Mangrove Moment getaway video or check out the video page of this website.
For those outside of Florida,, you may be wondering, what exactly is a mangrove? According to the American Museum of Natural History website, a mangrove is a tree and shrub species which live in the tropics and subtropics. Their long above ground roots are easily to spot as they look like mixed roots and branches going in all directions.
Below are three cool and interesting facts about mangroves.
- Mangroves are full of life. The shallow water and forest provide habitat, ecosystem, and hatcheries for many fish and bird species. Manatees and turtles also live within these areas. The manatees enjoy the sea grass and plants, while the turtles eat plants and smaller fish.
- Mangroves can tolerate salt water by filtering out up to 90% of the salt from the saltwater in order to use the freshwater. The leaves feel “salty” as a result of the leaves discharging the salt from the water.
- Mangroves help protect coastlines from the eroding effects of the ocean and gulf’s waves. They also provide a barrier from the mainland during hurricane and other tropical storm surges.
On your next outing or trip to Florida, or other coastal areas, maybe you’ll be inspired to explore the mangroves by paddle board or kayak. You’ll enjoy the fresh salt air, the physical activity, and varied wildlife sights. A great way to “Find your Venture”.