Mangrove Trimming Guidelines
These guidelines are intended to assist coastal property owners in identifying, trimming and altering mangrove trees in a manner that will:
- provide a view or navigational access;
- protect valuable mangrove resources, and
- be in compliance with the National Conservation Law (2013) & Mangrove Conservation Plan (2020).
Cayman has three native species of mangroves: red, black and white and two native varieties of buttonwood: silver and green. All of these trees are protected under the National Conservation Law (2013) and the Mangrove Conservation Plan (2020). While these trees can grow in freshwater, their physiological adaptations to life in saltwater allow them to thrive and outcompete other freshwater species. Each species responds differently to trimming; information on the identification and trimming tolerances of these species is provided in this guidance.
Many property owners trim mangroves along their shorelines to obtain or enhance their view of the water. Unfortunately, if not done properly, trimming can harm or kill the mangroves. While this might maximize a view, many people do not realise that killing or harming mangroves can have many unintended adverse consequences to the benefits mangroves provide, including:
- Habitat for marine food webs;
- Assist with maintaining and improving the quality of our coastal waters;
- Their roots and trunks help prevent shoreline erosion, and
- Protection of homes and property from severe wind damage.
Within the Cayman Islands, mangrove loss has been so extensive over recent decades that their National Red List Status as of 2008 lists Red Mangrove as Near Threatened, Black Mangrove as Endangered and both White Mangrove and Buttonwood as Vulnerable. Mangroves and Buttonwood are listed under Schedule 1 Part 2 of the National Conservation Law, 2013. Please note, if your property is located in a Mangrove Buffer Zone (Development Plan, 1997), you may require planning permission to conduct trimming.
To read the full Mangrove Conservation Plan (2020), visit the National Conservation Council’s website at www.conservation.ky.