Watch the next part of our kayaking adventure video where we travel through the famous mangrove tunnels of Lido Key!
The mangrove tunnels are always a highlight of the kayaking tour. Everyone loves gliding into the mangrove forests. They are nice and quiet and cool and calming. Kids and parents alike love exploring these little hidden channels and catching the wildlife that lives in the water and on the mangroves.
As I explained to our adventurers, these mangrove tunnels are man-made. Back in the 50’s the residents of Lido Key had a terrible mosquito problem. They brought in the Army Corps of Engineers to assess the problem. What they found was a large freshwater lagoon in what is now South Lido County Park. This fresh water lagoon was a perfect breeding ground for mosquitos. Then the Army Corps of Engineers came up with a really cool solution. They cut narrow, winding channels between the bay and the lagoon. The salt water from the bay filled the lagoon and since mosquitos can’t lay eggs in salt water, the mosquito problem was over! Not only was the problem solved but the residents of Sarasota got these beautiful mangrove tunnels to explore and to show to visitors.
There are many channels to explore through the mangroves. We went through three of them in our kayaks.
There are lots of animals that live in the mangroves. One is the mangrove crab. We saw lots of these. They are small black crabs that live in the mangroves and eat plant matter that collect on them. They look a little bit like spiders but don’t be afraid, they won’t jump at you!
We also saw starfish. A big one and a little one. There is lots of wildlife in the mangroves, I’ll share more with you again soon!