They rise, limbs interlocked like a mighty phalanx engaged in a slow northward march along Florida's coast. Collectively, they are battered and diminished after a century-long struggle. Yet, dutiful and resilient, they stand strong against hurricanes and storm surges, as well as their deadliest foe, the dreaded South Florida real estate developer. They are mangroves – a truly remarkable and underappreciated form of plant life.
Mangroves are nursery to dozens of species of commercially harvested fish; important anchors for the filter feeders who keep our waters clean; more effective than any seawall in halting coastal erosion; and bulwark against destructive waves and wind alike. What else do you need?
Florida's Mangroves: A Slightly Salty History lays out the glorious past, tenuous present, and hazy future of Florida's mangrove forests. Reporting from the Ten Thousand Islands to Cedar Key, from Weedon Island Preserve to Flamingo Point at the southern tip of Everglades National Park, and incorporating 140 lavish photos, historian Thomas Kenning offers a lively primer on the way that human activity in Florida has shaped – and, in turn, has been shaped by – the state's great, hopefully not late, mangrove forests.
Thomas Kenning is an author, educator, and adventurer. As a writer and photographer, he is passionate about documenting the vibrant history and spectacular ecosystems of the Sunshine State. When he's not travelling to some far-flung corner of the Earth, Thomas resides with his wife and daughter – planning his next improbable adventure, sure, but also trying to leave the planet a little bit nicer than he found it.