Mangrove habitat restoration
st. croix, USVI

Mangrove wetlands provide critical habitat for birds, fish, and other wildlife. They are the first line of defense for human communities on shorelines by providing protection during storms and acting as holding tanks for stormwater during heavy rains. Two category 5 Hurricanes in 2017, Irma and Maria, severely impacted the mangroves with a huge storm surge and sustained winds causing widespread mortality of trees and wildlife.

Our team is working with the VI Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) to evaluate the condition of the wetlands. Our work includes a wide range of tasks and collaboration with schools, environmental professionals, and the public. Wetland ecologists and engineers are assessing post-hurricane mangrove health, mortality, and hydrologic condition in order to develop restoration design plans for impacted systems. Local biologists are conducting bird surveys in key wetlands across the territory so we can evaluate changes and trends from 20-40 years ago. To increase awareness in the community on where our native shorebirds live and why they are important, we are also providing professional bird identification workshops to schoolteachers and painting murals of birds and their habitat in public spaces.

CLIENT:  Virgin Islands Department of Planning and Natural Resources, Division of Fish and Wildlife, Frederiksted, VI

PARTNERS: Geographic Consulting, St. Croix Environmental Association, Birds Caribbean

PROBLEM:  Severe weather impacted the mangroves

SOLUTION:  Outreach Planning and Restoration Design Plans

BENEFITS:  Community Outreach Programs, Site Improvements


Brian Daley, Ph.D.

senior ecologist