The Cherating River is a relatively short river but its mangrove forest provides significant benefits to the local ecosystem and people. Below are some of its most vital contributions:
Protects the coast from natural disasters - Mangrove trees are an important line of defence against natural forces like tsunamis and typhoons. They absorb a lot of the impact when these disasters hit ground and help dissipate the force.
Regulates carbon in the atmosphere - Mangrove trees absorb and fix atmospheric carbon very efficiently compared to other plants. This makes them instrumental in mitigating the effects of global warming and controlling the temperature in the local ecosystem.
Natural habitat for diverse species - Thousands of species of plants and animals live in a mangrove forest. The Cherating River is home to various unique creatures including sea otters, snakes, crabs, monkeys, and various migrating birds. The forest is also home to the Pteroptyx bearni firefly species which is unique to several locations around Malaysia including Cherating.
Absorbs pollutants - Mangroves can absorb and filter pollutants through their roots, acting as a sieve that keeps pollutants from entering the sea.
An important resource for human activity - Mangrove forests provide natural resources for the local communities such as food, timber, medicinal herbs, and contributes to the local tourism industry such as at Cherating.