Measuring Mangroves

Measuring Mangroves

Watch explorer Octavio Aburto describe his work with mangrove and marine ecosystems. Then have students explore different mangrove ecosystems and construct an explanation for how developing a Marine Protected Area for a mangrove ecosystem could help preserve biodiversity.


5 - 12+


Biology, Ecology, Conservation

Made Possible By
Lockheed Martin

Idea for Use in the Classroom

Place students in small groups and have them analyze the infographic, The Mangrove Ecosystem, to better understand how mangroves act as an ocean’s nursery and as a barrier against coastal erosion. Have students visit the WWF website on mangroves and select a mangrove ecosystem from the bottom of the page to learn more about. Through their research, have students identify where the mangrove ecosystem is located, biodiversity features, and the types and severity of threats to the ecosystem.

Introduce students to Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) as areas in the ocean that are being set aside as sanctuaries for the same reasons that parks are created on land: to protect habitats, organisms, and resources. Have students read about the importance of Marine Protected Areas and marine parks to learn how MPAs can have different rules for use, allowing people to use them in different ways, depending on an MPA's assigned level of protection.

After reading the two articles, have students return to their mangrove ecosystem and decide what type of MPA would help reduce the threats to the ecosystem. Then have students construct an evidence-based explanation to share the reasons why the plan would help support the health of their ecosystem using evidence from their research.

Articles & Profiles
Media Credits

The audio, illustrations, photos, and videos are credited beneath the media asset, except for promotional images, which generally link to another page that contains the media credit. The Rights Holder for media is the person or group credited.

Heather J. Johnson, Vanderbilt University
Jeanna Sullivan, National Geographic Society
Educator Reviewer
Alexandra M. Silva, Science Educator, Peter Gruber International Academy, Virgin Islands 9-12 International Baccalaureate MYP Science, DP Biology, and DP Environmental Systems & Societies MEd Instructional Leadership: Science Education; MS Ecology & Evolution
Program Specialist
Sarah Appleton, National Geographic Society, National Geographic Society
Last Updated

January 22, 2024

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