Mighty mangroves are coming to the Ocean Pavilion

At the Seattle Aquarium, you’ve connected with fascinating SEAlebrities—sea otters, tufted puffins and dogfish, to name a few. But TREElebrities? Not so much. That will change when the Ocean Pavilion opens next summer. In a habitat called The Archipelago, you’ll discover live mangrove trees and the ecosystems mangroves support in the Coral Triangle.

Meet the TREElebrities

Mangroves live in the Coral Triangle and other tropical and subtropical regions of the world. These highly adaptive trees thrive where most plants cannot—in hot, salty, muddy water. Mighty mangroves help protect animals, coastal communities and the planet. You could say that they’re ecosystem superheroes. 

What makes mangroves mighty? Find out:

Colossal carbon sinks, drawn illustration of mangroves in a wetlands habitat, the roots of the mangrove trees extending into the water. Three monkeys sit in the branches of the mangrove trees while a stork wades through the water.
Too much carbon in the air is warming Earth. Mangroves fight this trend by storing carbon from the air in their wood and in soil held by their roots. 

Heroic home-makers, drawn illustration of mangrove tree roots as seen from under the water. Different species of fish swim among the mangrove roots, which provide a safe habitat for fish and other animals.
Mangroves’ roots work like the bars of a crib to shelter young fishes. Above, branches make space for monkeys, birds and other land animals.

Coastal Crusaders, drawn illustration of a mangrove forest as seen from above, highlighting the unique habitats mangroves help create.
Nestled where land meets water, mangroves trap soil in their roots, creating new land. They also prevent erosion, filter pollutants and blunt big waves.

Economic Engines, drawn illustration of schools of fish swimming underwater through mangrove tree roots, the bottom of a small paddle boat visible on the surface of the water.Mangroves provide medicines, timber, food and more, supporting livelihoods for people in coastal areas. 

As mighty as they are, mangrove forests—like forests around the world—are shrinking due to human development and pollution. According to the United Nations, up to two thirds of coastal mangroves have been lost to date. As mangroves vanish, the species that rely on them—including us—have fewer defenses against climate change. By working together, we can change this story. 

At the Ocean Pavilion, you’ll witness the role mangroves play in Coral Triangle ecosystems and learn how we can work together to protect wild populations.

Watch our team welcome mangroves and bluespotted rays

Our dedicated animal care team knows all about fish. Now that mangroves have arrived at our offsite Animal Care Center, the team is learning the joys of botany. Why? Because mangroves create the conditions many animals—including bluespotted rays—depend on. 

In episodes 4 and 5 of Animal Care Stories, watch our team begin to build a shared habitat for mangroves and their “roommates”—bluespotted rays. 



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