Southeast
Kyle & Keith Rossin lead mangrove planting efforts. (Photo by Thomas Cord, Palm beach Post)

FL - Are mangroves the answer to climate change? West Palm growers say yes

In what will be their biggest project yet, Mang has so far donated more than 3,300 mangroves to a collection of islands in the Lake Worth Lagoon estuary.

This article is part of a USA TODAY Network reporting project called "Perilous Course," a collaborative examination of how people up and down the East Coast are grappling with the climate crisis. Journalists from more than 35 newsrooms from New Hampshire to Florida are speaking with regular people about real-life impacts, digging into the science and investigating government response, or lack of it.

WEST PALM BEACH — Gone are the days of game, set, match on this backyard tennis court. The cracks in the sun-bleached hardcourt highlight its age. But there's a new game afoot.

In place of shoe scuffs and fuzzy yellow balls are rows of square garden beds, each holding as many as 100 potted mangroves of varying ages and species.

It’s here at this sprawling home off a busy road in suburban West Palm Beach where 25,000 of these environmental "Swiss Army knives" grow from seed to flourishing tree.  

When the trees are strong enough to be replanted in nature or in the community, after two years of growth, they are ready to serve as the foundation for new habitats, suck and store carbon from the atmosphere, strengthen eroding shorelines and, overall, tackle the effects of climate change.

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Twins Kyle and Keith Rossin run the mangrove nursery in tandem with their seven-year-old outdoor apparel company called Mang Gear, which promises customers to plant one mangrove with every purchase of a unique mangrove camouflage shirt, sun-protective fishing gaiter, aquatic life sticker or another product.

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