MANGROVE GARDEN FOUNDATION
The Mangrove Garden Foundation was created to provide charitable funding for the support and maintenance of educational programs conducted in the Mangrove Gardens at Carwill Oaks, including a bilingual, educational website.
The Mangrove Gardens are open to visitors interested in learning how to preserve the wetlands environment and especially the mangroves, which are vitally important to the fragile eco-system supporting marine life in the estuary known as the Indian River Lagoon (a.k.a. the Intracoastal Waterway - ICW). At 156 miles in length, the Lagoon is the largest estuary in North America.
With the focus on mangroves, it is our hope that these gardens will demonstrate, by example, that mankind and mangroves can thrive together. Healthy, well-maintained mangrove wetlands provide the nurseries for marine life that ultimately populate our oceans. They are at the genesis of the food chain for an estimated 75% of ocean marine life.
The mangrove wetlands provide:
- Game Fish Breeding Areas for: Snook, Tarpon, Snapper, Red Fish, Spotted Seatrout, Sheepshead, Pompano, Drum Mackerel, Spanish Mackerel, Southern Flounder, Mosquito Fish, Pipe Fish, Pinfish, Smalltooth Sawfish (an endangered species), Needlefish, Mullett, Catfish, Southern Stingray, Atlantic Stingray, Mangrove Crab, Blue Crab, Horseshoe Crab, Hermit Crab, Spider Crab, Land Crab, Oysters and Shrimp.
- Nesting and Foraging areas for: Wood Storks, Great Blue Herons, Great White Herons, Night Herons, Snowy White Egrets, Ibis, Roseate Spoonbills.
- Food source for: Osprey, Owls, Hawks, Bald Eagles, Pelicans, Cormorant/Anhingas, ducks - all opportunistically feeding on fish in the mangroves and in the Indian River Lagoon…always a delight to watch as they hunt their “perfect” fish.
- Endangered Species Habitat for: Atlantic Salt Marsh Snakes, Indigo Snakes, Hawksbill Sea Turtles, Atlantic Ridley Sea Turtles, gentle Florida Manatees, playful Bottlenose Dolphins, illusive Florida Panthers.
- Natural Habitat for: Bobcats, Raccoons, Possums, Marsh Rabbits, Swamp Mice, Blue Crabs, Land Crabs, Gopher Tortoises.
Our message to one and all who visit these gardens is…
LEARN WHAT YOU CAN DO TO PROTECT THE MANGROVE WETLANDS - PLEASE CONSIDER SUPPORTING:
THE INDIAN RIVER LAND TRUST in its efforts to
"Protect the Land that Protects the Lagoon"
THE ENVIRONMENTAL LEARNING CENTER in its efforts
to educate adults and children about specific ways to
help preserve the Indian River Lagoon’s eco-system.