When was the last time you did something good for Mother Earth? Did it occured in your mind that you need to contribute for the common good of the people? When was the last time you feel that you’re an environmentalist and you care for the place you live in, that you care for what God has given us? Have you realized how broke Mother Earth today? I feel she’s crying, she is trembling, she is sad that she can create tsunami as her tears, she is trembling with the Earthquakes that just happened in Christchurch and Japan. We get so much resources from the Earth that we almost forgot to give somthing back- care and love. We almost left nothing from the environment but wastes and garbages.
So what are we going to do now? Do you just sit there and watch the news? Hey, contribute in your own little ways. Yesterday, the company where I work gave us an opportunity to plant mangrove trees in El Salavador, Misamis Oriental. They feel that we need to do a different kind of activity away from the computer monitor. And that we need to make a difference for the environment.
The thought of ‘planting’ excites me but it was not easy to convince myself that eveything will be okay as I have fears creeping inside me. Because they said the location is beside a river where crocodiles are hiding, lol! And that tsunami is feared to arrive in the Philippines after Japan experienced an intensity 9 earthquake. We were joking that time while planting on the seashore. What if high tidal waves will come and eat us any time? How will we run? Those were some of the jokes I’ve heard during the activity. But you cannot let these thoughts disturbed you in your aim of helping save the coastal area. We choose to plant mangrove trees because it has many functions in protecting the coastal eco-system:
1. They trap and cycle various organic materials, chemical elements, and important nutrients.
2. It provide one of the basic food chain resources for marine organisms. The leaves of mangroves last for approximately a year before falling into the water where bacteria and fungus decompose the leaves – these leaves form the base of the food chain.
3. Mangroves provide physical habitat and nursery grounds for a wide variety of marine organisms, many of which have important recreational or commercial value.
4. Mangroves serve as storm buffers by reducing wind and wave action in shallow shoreline areas.
5. Mangroves provide resources for coastal communities who depend on the plants for timber, fuel, food, medicinal herbs and other forest products.
Planting mangrove trees is not an easy job. You are required to walk on your bare foot. It was not easy walking on a muddy soil as your feet will tend to immerse in the mud. So you have to pull it up to continue walking. The experience of walking there reminds you that you are touching Earth! Luckily my partner loves to plant and I was influenced, we planted around 40 to 50 seeds. And it was fun! Mangrove is easy to plant, you will just have to dig a long hole and insert the seed, one seed at a time. Make sure they are alligned. There is one thing I am praying after the experience – that the seeds will grow and live. Kuya, the guide said the waves may take the seeds. Please noooooo…..
March 12, 2011 – My first time to plant a magrove tree and it is a significant day for me.
Photo Credits: JosieFlor