I used to hear about mangrove planting when I was still in my previous job but didn't take the opportunity to organize one or even just participate from other environmental groups. It was only last November when I was finally able to attend and much more, to help organize the activity. It was also the first time I was able to set foot on Olango Island where we planted the mangroves. Being a first-timer, I was pretty excited thinking what it could be like and how it is done. Mangrove planting is definitely different from tree planting. You will not be planting seeds but mangrove propagules. Also, the mangrove planting time is very fast for you only have to dig a small hole the size of the propagule into the wetlands, swamps and along warm-weather coastlines which mostly are soft and easy to dig. You may even directly plant the propagule if the sand is soft enough. It's simply like planting rice seeds. You can plant 10,000 propagules in an hour or so. Proper distancing between the propagules should be observed to consider the propagules survival rate. Growth period can vary depending on the type of mangrove propagule planted.
If you are planning to organize a mangrove planting activity, here are some tips for you to consider:
1. It is advisable that you coordinate with government authority specifically the City Environment and Natural Resource Office or CENRO of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). They will give you advise as to where you do the planting and you can get the propagules from them at a very low price.
2. Of course you need to check the calendar first if your planned schedule/date falls on a low tide. This is very important because you simply can't do the planting if its high tide. So better check it out and observe the right time.
3. Wear comfortable and breathable clothing because you will be bending your back when planting. A t-shirt and a pair of shorts/short pants would be fine. For the footwear, slippers would do but water shoes are highly recommended.
mangrove propagule before it drops from the parent tree