by Allen Cox
When a mangrove falls and there's no one there to hear, does it make a splash? You'd think the answer would be a resounding “yes.” But when nearly an entire coastline of mangroves fell along the Mexican Caribbean from north of Cancun to Tulum, business interests turned a deaf ear and environmentalists wept.
Of course, the trees didn't fall all at once with a single tsunami-inducing splash. Instead, it was one little splash after another over the course of four decades. One tree after another. Splash. One grove after another. These mangroves, as well as the dune plants and the jungle beyond, were standing in the way of progress. Now, they are not standing at all.