I work in a place where the land and ocean meet. It is a mangrove forest. Mangroves are a group of trees. They grow from a tangle of roots deep in the mud. These wetlands are tough. They can thrive in salty ocean water. They can also withstand storms.

Welcome to Brazil

The longest continuous mangrove forests in the world are on the coast of Brazil. Trees here can store twice as much carbon in the soil as the nearby Amazon rainforest.

A scarlet ibis finds a home in the mangrove.

Shipworms nibble away at dead wood.

Mangroves are filled with life. Crabs, fishes, birds, and insects find food and homes here. The beautiful scarlet ibis is just one mangrove bird.

Shipworms keep mangroves healthy. They eat dead wood. For people who live here, the wetlands are important for fisheries and timber.

The Power of Mangroves

Mangroves protect us from natural hazards. They form a living barrier that shelters us from storms. They lessen the effect of waves and high winds. They also trap carbon.

The dense roots of mangroves help to build soil. The roots above the ground reduce erosion. We must learn to protect mangroves because they protect us.

I climbed into the roots of this tree to get a better look at the whole swamp.