The Mangrove Initiative: the Manzanar project

Internazionale is one of those review that is worth 200% reading. This time I found an article signed by Pagan Kennedy of the Boston Globe, reporting this crazy project called Manzanar. The idea is so foolish to be genial: planting Mangroves on all Eritrea’s costs to overcome the lack of food of the country and deforestation.

Artificial mangrove swamps are created by digging large areas to the depth of one foot below the average high tide level. Mangroves, which grow into five foot tall bushy shrubs in about six months, are planted using the fruit and propagules. The mangrove trees provide nourishment and shelter for large numbers of fish, shrimp and crab which feed indirectly from the decomposing leaves. 

Next to the mangrove swamps, deeper ponds are dug which are fertilized with a mixture of camel and goat dung. The algae that grow in this environment support a fish that is related to the algae-mud eating carp, mullet. These fish grow from the fingerling stage to one pound in four months when they are caught, cleaned, and shipped to the highlands. The viscera and heads are used to feed crab, shrimp and carnivorous fish that are cultured in other ponds or in cages anchored off shore.

What I like most of this project is that it was ideated and implemented by a revolutionary thinker: Dr. Gordon Sato. He is one of those persons, to whom goes all my admiration, that one day starts thinking out of the box. His project is one of those simple little ideas that can change the world we live in.

Theories of global warming, polar cap melting and coastal flooding have been linked to global rain forest destruction and consumption of fossil fuels. Remedies under consideration related to rain forests and reduction of consumption of fossil fuels are unlikely to be adequate for economic and political reasons……a replacement approach, e.g. to convert the great deserts of the world to mangrove forests, might be a more positive and politically, even economically, acceptable approach to counter de-forestation—Dr. Gordon Sato

[Manzanar web site]

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