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This webpage is intended to share important information about mangroves and the laws and regulations that protect them along with providing additional resources.  

Background Information on Mangroves

Three species are native to Florida: Red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle), Black mangrove (Avicennia germinans) and White mangrove (Laguncularia racemosa).

  • Red mangroves are easily identified by their "prop roots," which are tangled, reddish, aerial roots that originate from the trunk and branches. Their leaves are 1 to 5 inches long, broad and blunt on the tip, shiny, deep green on top, and paler on the underside.
  • Black mangroves can be identified by numerous finger-like projections, called pneumatophores, that protrude from the soil around the tree's trunk. Black mangrove leaves are oblong, shiny green on top and covered with short dense hairs on the underside. Black mangroves are usually found in slightly higher elevations upland from red mangroves.
  • White mangroves have no visible aerial root system like red and black mangroves. The easiest way to identify white mangroves is by the leaves. The leaves are up to 3 inches long, elliptical (rounded at both ends), yellowish in color, and have two distinguishing glands at the base of each leaf blade where the stem begins. White mangroves are usually located in elevations higher and farther upland than either the red or black mangroves.

Values and Functions of Mangroves

  • Mangroves trap and cycle various organic materials, chemical elements, and important nutrients in the coastal ecosystem.
  • Mangroves provide one of the basic food chain resources for marine organisms.
  • Mangroves serve as storm buffers by reducing wind and wave action in shallow shoreline areas.
  • Mangroves provide physical habitat and nursery grounds for a wide variety of marine organisms, many of which have important recreational or commercial value.

According to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, it is estimated that mangroves contribute $7.6 billion annually to the economy and create 109,000 jobs in Florida

Mangrove Trimming Resources:

For information on mangrove trimming permits and finding professional mangrove trimmers please contact Miami-Dade County Department of Environmental Resources Management - DERM, Coastal Section

  • Email:
  • Phone Number: (305) 372-6575
  • Office location: Overtown Transit Village. 701 NW 1st Court, 6th Floor. Miami, Florida 33136

Fines/Penalties for Illegally Cutting Mangroves

  • For a first violation, property owners may be required to restore the area.
  • For subsequent violations, property owners and the person performing illegal trimming can be fined:
    • Up to $100 for each mangrove illegally trimmed
    • Up to $250 for each mangrove illegally altered

Additional Resources: 

All questions regarding mangrove trimming and professional mangrove trimmers should be directed to Miami-Dade County Department of Environmental Resources Management - DERM, Coastal Section.