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East Carolina University Study on Mangroves
Protecting Shorelines and Economic Growth

East Carolina University Study on Mangroves

The root systems of mangroves trap sediment flowing down rivers and off the land. This helps stabilize the coastline and prevents erosion from waves and storms.


According to a post from arstechnica.com, a new study led by East Carolina University professor Jacob Hochard, Ph.D analyzes the effectiveness of mangroves in protecting shorelines from erosion caused by storms. Dr. Hochard's research focuses on the connection between economics and the environment.

To find out how well mangrove swamps protect nearby communities, the researchers measured the change in lighting for the years after a tropical cyclone hit a coastal city. They compared areas with average mangrove extent and above-average communities. Instead of about 6 meters of mangrove buffer, these communities had about 25 meters of mangrove. The researchers evaluated not only the loss of shoreline in these areas, but also the rate of economic growth, and they saw a connection.

Hochard and his group found that after a storm, the communities with average-mangrove growth suffered a 6% to 8% drop in their economic growth rate, which took about six years to level. That loss is equivalent to about six months of economic activity.

For the above-average mangrove areas, however, the economic growth rate only went down about 3% to 6%, equivalent to a loss of roughly four months. The study concluded that a modest increase in mangrove extent has pretty significant benefit for these vulnerable communities, not only protecting from erosion but also influencing local economies.

To read the full article, click HERE.



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July 21, 2019, 1:11 pm PDT

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