by Tatiana Suarez
St. Petersburg, USA – November 2020
My mural is inspired by two local Floridian species at risk: mangroves and manatees. Mangroves are tropical trees found along salty, coastal waters. They are vital to both marine life and local communities alike. Mangrove forests provide storm protection to coastal communities. They act as buffers towards storm surges and help with erosion.
These ecosystems are also a critical solution in the fight against climate change as they can be up to 10 times more efficient at absorbing and storing carbon long term. Most importantly, they create critical habitats and nurseries for various marine life species, one of which is the manatee. Manatees face numerous threats such as boat collisions, habitat loss, and harmful algae blooms.
I painted this mural to bring some love, color, and appreciation to St. Pete and to help bring awareness and promote mangrove conservation and regrowth.