Mangroves, Expanding With Warming Climate, Are Re-Shaping The Texas Coast


"PORT ARANSAS — Dead mangroves cover Harbor Island near this coastal city, creating a bleak landscape that contrasts with the calm, blue water that laps at the shore. The intense 2021 winter freeze killed these plants, which can tolerate some cold but not for that long. A few leafy, green saplings now sprout among them.

Black mangroves like these were expanding along the Texas coast for years before the freeze. The shrubs are native to the state, but, as climate change pushed temperatures generally higher, scientists saw them growing in greater numbers and spreading farther north than their typical range.

Biologists who study mangroves say little can be done about the plant’s expansion. Instead, they are analyzing what changes the mangroves bring as they spread to new areas — good and bad."

This story is part of the Pulitzer Center’s nationwide Connected Coastlines reporting initiative. For more information, go to

Emily Foxhall reports for the Texas Tribune May 6, 2024.

Source: Texas Tribune, 05/09/2024