The Madu River area surrounding the river are all swampy marshlands covered in mangrove forests. The forest covers over 61 hectares, that is over 150 acres. 14 of the 24 species of mangroves are found in this area. It is interesting to note that mangroves play a huge part in preventing erosion. The value of the mangroves was understood in December 2004, during the devastating tsunami, when forest acted as a natural barrier protecting the region.The large growths of mangrove trees have caused a chain of ecological gain. The soil protected by the mangrove trees is very fertile. This has caused a rich growth of other wetland plants. Over 300 species, 19 of which are endemic, have been discovered so far.