More than 50 years ago, our country had a coverage of approximately one hundred thousand hectares of mangrove forest; Today, only 40% has plant cover. The forest is being dramatically affected by bad practices made by human beings and the damage that this generates its ecosystem.
The problem is created in middle and upper parts of the territory, with the practice of conventional agriculture of mono-crops such as: corn, beans and sugar cane, as well as buildings and subdivisions, forming an erosive process where all particles detached from the soil they will stop the mouths of the rivers, covering the areas of convergence with salt water. As time passes, the siltation of the channels drastically reduces the flow of water, causing stress in the mangrove ecosystem.
In the western part of El Salvador, is the Natural Protected Area and site Ramsar Santiago complex bar belonging to the Area of the conservation impossible - Barra de Santiago. The sediment has been given by the agricultural action - livestock and bad practices in the use of plastic and disposable. In this area, the channel known as El Naranjo, was azolvado completely. The water flow was lost, the volumes of water from the River were diverted to another address, affecting the sector of the island the Zanate freshwater discharge. When the flow is interrupted, the concentration optimal salinity is lost, this allows other plant species may invade the trees of mangrove and with this the risk of starting to lose the ecosystem.
The background of the initiative for the Americas (FIÃES) finances the project "ecological restoration of mangrove, by enabling 6.2 km of canal in the sector of the salted forest of the Santiago Imposible-Barra conservation area", with an investment of $99.869.61.
This project was executed, by the Community development of women in Santiago Bar Association (both) with the support of the Ministry of environment and natural resources (MARN) and community groups PLES of Barra de Santiago, ISTATEN, ADIC and micro-basin the avocado Committee group. The main areas where executed according to plan actions were:
- Rio Santa Rita. It worked 2 km of canal, where a deviation from the flow of water was made to carry it towards the pond of alligators.
- Sacramento River. Approximately 525 metres, they were operated to improve water flow, through the removal of logs and fallen trees, sediment, organic material and plastics. This has contributed to improving the habitat of the species of Caiman Crocodilus (Cayman). Several species were extracted during removal: 15 tepolcuas (endangered according to the list of MRNA species), 60 frogs from quebrada, 5 turtles padlock and 5 aquilladas lizards. These were moved to a place where not would be affected with the continuous work.
- San Francisco River. They were 500 metres from canal, improving water flow in this sector. As part of the rehabilitation of this stretch is enabled a drain to avoid overflow. In addition, removed grasses, fallen trees, sediment, organic material and plastics. This contributed to improve the habitat for iguanas, because this site has served as a refuge for this species.
- Channel the avocado. They worked 4 km. down. From the bridge of the diamond to the Ista colony. Cleaned the canal, moving the material to positions where they will not affect by rains or floods. This work included the entire Middle and lower area of the channel. In the part of the mouth making the avocado with the Peace River-Zanjón, was working with heavy machinery to make flowing water, due to a gentle slope and a strong holding capacity in place, in coordination with the MRNA and FIÃES.
In addition to these actions, we worked in the process of environmental awareness of the people in the communities hope, the Violantes, and Santa Rita. With those who complied a group of 50 persons (men and women), who is given to know the importance of forest ecosystem and its relationship with water resources, the need to restore the affected areas, ecosystem benefits and the benefits Economic Community. All this helped to improve not only the ecosystem, species and forest in the area, but also, to generate a awareness environment in people who live in the communities surrounding mangroves and forests areas where along the main rivers that connect to the mangroves.
Currently, has been achieved to improve the water flow during the rainy season. This has allowed different species such as alligators, turtles, iguanas, lizards, among others, have now an ecosystem with a good flow of freshwater - saltwater and improve growth and increase forest of mangroves in the area.