In a ceremony held on World Wetlands Day February 2, 2017, federal authorities in Mexico congratulated themselves after a study they presented showed that over 11,000 hectares of mangroves had been recovered between 2010 and 2015.
What officials left out of their statements was that during that same five-year period, 6,407 hectares of mangrove swamps and wetlands were either lost or damaged in Mexico, primarily by human activity. So, while the country’s support for restoration is improving, their support for conservation remains weak.
Of Mexico’s 31 states, Sonora was the only one that has consistently increased the area of mangrove swamps. Wetlands have grown continuously since 1980, covering an additional 1,271 hectares of coastal lands since.
The story in the neighboring state of Sinaloa is also one of success. Having managed to recover close to 5,000 hectares of mangroves in the last five years, the state leads the way in mangrove recovery during that period.
Top photo of mangroves in Sonora via Wild Sonora.