St. John Environments: Mangroves

St. John Virgin Islands Environment: mangroves
Red Mangrove

The term mangrove loosely describes those tropical trees or shrubs that are specially adapted to grow in salty, wet and muddy environments, such as the shallow waters of calm bays, the periphery of salt ponds, and within marshes and wetlands that are exposed to flooding and salt water intrusion.

red mangrove seedling
Red Mangrove Seedling

white mangrove leaf and flower
White Mangrove Leaf and Flower

white mangrove salt glands
White Mangrove Salt Glands

Red Mangrove
The red mangrove proliferates along the shorelines of shallow calm bays, both on the muddy shore and in the water itself. The red is the classic mangrove characterized by its numerous arch-shaped roots that start at the base of the tree and arch out and down into the water and mud. It also has distinctive seeds that at maturity look something like foot-long red pencils, which emerge prominently from the center of the mangrove’s leaf clusters.

Black Mangrove
The black mangrove, Avicennia germinans, is easily identified by little sticks, called pneumatophores, coming out of the mud around its trunk. These are actually part of the black mangrove’s roots and serve two purposes. Most importantly, they act like snorkels bringing fresh air to the majority of the root that exists in the oxygen-depleted environment underwater and underground. Secondly, the pneumatophores help to anchor the black mangrove to its tenuous foundation of loose mud. The red mangrove’s lenticles and the black’s pneumatophores are extremely sensitive to greasy contaminants, which can clog up the openings. They are, therefore, at particular risk from oil spills.

The black mangrove is less tolerant of salt than is the red and cannot live its entire life in salt water. It is, therefore, usually found behind the red mangrove or on the shore side of salt ponds or marshes. Like the red, this mangrove excludes salt at the roots, but at a 90% efficiency instead of the 99% capability of the red. The salt that enters the black mangrove tissues is excreted by salt glands on the upper surface of the leaves. If you hold a black mangrove leaf up to the sunlight, you will see the salt crystals on the leaf.

White Mangrove
The white mangrove, Laguncularia racemosa, is the least salt-tolerant of the three mangrove varieties and cannot withstand prolonged periods in flooded conditions. For this reason white mangroves are usually found on drier land than are its red and black cousins. On St. John white mangroves are particularly plentiful around the edge of salt ponds and along guts where they open to the sea.

The white mangrove, like the black, excretes salt from its leaves. It does so through salt glands that occur in pairs on the stem just below each leaf. These glands look like two raised bumps and provide a good way to identify the white mangrove…. read more about mangroves

St. John Events

St. John Film presents a very special evening you won’t want to miss!
TONIGHT – TUESDAY, JAN 7, 2014 – St John School of the Arts in Cruz Bay 7:30 pm

Please join us for a selection of short, painfully funny films from the early Women’s Liberation Movement.

EARLY WOMEN’S LIB FILMS – Julia Reichert: Visiting Filmmaker will help place these archival films in context.

st john film societyGrowing Up Female Jim Klein, Julia Reichert | 1971 | USA | 50 min
Widely recognized as the first feature film to come out of the modern women’s movement, Julia Reichert’s landmark documentary “Growing Up Female” follows six girls and six women living in Middle America and gives voice to their powerlessness over imposing institutional forces. Recently inducted into the National Film Registry.

Make Out Geri Ashur, Andrea Eagan | 1970 | USA | 5 min.
“Make Out” shows a young couple making out in a car while a voice over reveals the young woman’s real thoughts about what is happening.

Up Against the Wall Miss America Newsreel Group | 1968 | USA | 8 min.
A now-historical film about the disruption of the Miss America pageant of 1968, with raps, guerrilla theater, and original songs.

Anything You Want to Be Liane Brandon | 1971 | USA | 8 min.
A teenager’s humorous collision with sex-role stereotypes.

Julia Reichert was nominated three times for the Academy Award for her documentary work and is winner of the Primetime Emmy Award. She has directed both documentary and fiction features. Her films have screened in major film festivals worldwide, including Sundance, New York, Telluride, Cannes and Rotterdam. Her first five documentaries were all broadcast on national PBS. GROWING UP FEMALE, which was her student project at Antioch College, was recently named to the National Film Registry. Her films have screened theatrically around the U.S., playing in over 100 cities, and internationally in theaters and television in dozens of countries. She is a proud co-founder of the distribution co-op, New Day Films, a founder of the Independent Feature Project, a professor of film production at Wright State University, a mom and a grandma.

Visit our website: to find a list of recommended independent films that we purchased for the Elaine Sprauve Public Library on St. John. We recommend you check out a related film entitled “BODY TYPED”, a series of 3 short films about women’s body image.

St. John Virgin Islands Weather

Scattered showers, mainly before noon. Mostly sunny, with a high near 81. East wind around 21 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.

St. John News

AT&T surges past 500 market mark with 26 new LTE rollouts
7 Jan 2014

US mobile giant AT&T Mobility has extended its nationwide LTE network to 26 new markets, raising its total number of markets served to more than 500. Alongside the likes of Battle Creek (Michigan), Hannibal (Missouri), Poughkeepsie (New York), Lebanon (Pennsylvania) and Walla Walla (Washington), coverage has also been extended to St John in the US Virgin Islands (USVI).

TeleGeography notes that, while AT&T is now able to match rival Verizon in terms of 4G markets served, it lacks the same level of population coverage, reflecting the market leader’s willingness to reach outside of a city to cover its surrounding areas. AT&T purports to cover around 270 million people with its networks, while Verizon covers around 301 million US citizens.

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