Artist: Benjamin Dimmitt
Project: Mangrove Swamps
Description: Mangrove swamps occupy a vital role in the health of a coastline, serving as protected spawning grounds for fish, rookeries for wading birds, and natural water filtration systems. In order to survive, communities of mangrove plants will migrate farther inland when faced with sea level rise, and for estuaries threatened by increasingly powerful storms, the densely woven, interconnected root networks of mangrove swamps act as a series of anchors against devastating erosion.
Inspired by his recollections of mangrove swamps while growing up on Florida’s Gulf Coast, Benjamin Dimmitt decided to revisit the shoreline with his camera, paying close attention to the unsuspected beauty and vitality of these resilient organisms. While the sprawling tunnels and knots of mangrove swamps seemed inhospitable to him as a child, Dimmitt “had become fascinated by the paradox of their forbidding impenetrability, the graceful line of their roots and branches, and their beneficial ecological role.” Captured in the Florida Keys, the Everglades, and the Venezuelan coast, the resulting images in Mangrove Swamps reveal the visually striking world of one of the coast’s essential life forms.