Mangrove seedlings being planted along coastline
Within the next seven weeks the Guyana Mangrove Restoration Project (GMRP) will continue to plant mangrove seedlings from La Bonne Intention to Success, East Coast Demerara, creating a cheaper natural sea defence.
According to Chairperson of the Mangrove Action Committee, Annette Arjoon-Martins, planting in this district commenced on May 16 behind Felicity. A total of 88,000 mangrove seedlings will be planted at this restoration site.
So far, 5,220 seedlings have been planted just over a period of three days. It is estimated that with 88, 000 seedlings, 1.89 kilometers (km) will be planted. She added that it is noteworthy to recognize that 14 of the 20 planters are women.
She related that in Wellington Park, Corentyne planting commenced on March 19. At the moment 32,743 seedlings have been planted and 21, 257 seedlings covering 0.46 km will be planted at a later date.
In addition, a total of 78, 000 seedlings will be planted from No. 6 to 8 Village, Berbice. She said that planting began at this site on April 23 and at the moment, 31,425 seedlings have been planted at No. 6 and No.7 villages. The remaining area to be covered is 1.68 km.
The Chairperson noted that each area that is being planted consists of a 22 member team; 20 team members do the actual planting along the shore in the restoration zone, one acts as the Foreman and the other is the Ranger. These Rangers monitor their respective areas daily.
The seedlings that are being planted are all taken from seedling contractors who would have collected the seeds of the black mangroves then nurture them for a period of four months until the seedlings mature.
Arjoon-Martins said, “Quality control is pertinent and this is why the seedlings are checked before they are loaded onto the truck and transported to the site, and before they are loaded on to the Catamarans (wooden pieces of equipment specifically designed to slide on the mud). The height requirement for seedlings to be planted is 14 inches.
Currently, there are 51 seedling contractors. A second set of seedling contracts is expected to be done before the month of May ends.
These new contracts will cover seedling production for the Greenfield, East Coast Demerara area, and a second area in West Coast Berbice. The seedlings will be used for planting in September.
A decision by team members will determine specifications on the amount of seedlings needed and the amount of kilometers to be covered. Victoria where some losses were suffered will be replanted after a breakwater is installed.
The GMRP will commence the rehabilitation of old groynes and construction of breakwaters in areas that were previously affected as well as those that are under constant monitoring where elevation surveys and studies were carried out.
While the mangrove seedlings are being planted to protect the coastline from flooding human activities could destroy them. She emphasized that GMRP is requesting that fishermen dock their boats near the koker to prevent their vessels from destroying the seedlings.