Last spring, a team of NASA scientists looking at South Florida’s dwindling wetlands flew over the Everglades hoping to use aerial 3D imaging and data from the planet’s longest orbiting satellites to plot changes. Then Irma hit.In a matter of hours, about 40 percent of the mangroves were damaged or flattened.The massive toll from the storm was not all that surprising. Irma was as wide as the state and slammed the Lower Keys as a Cat 4 before barreling north and making a second landfall near Marco Island as a Cat 3. But what was baffling was how little of the forest, perfectly evolved to endure hurricanes, had recovered when scientists retraced their flight three months later."What took me aback was not so much the immediate damage, because you expect to see that. But some areas are really struggling to return," said Lola Fatoyinbo, a forest ecologist and the project’s principle investigator at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland. "It was really, … [Read more...] about NASA team finds massive Everglades mangrove damage from Irma. Can it recover?