Mangrove forests in Tabasco, Mexico, require the conservation, utilization and rehabilitation of degraded areas. To determine their use potential, a regionalization was performed on the basis of edaphic conditions, geographic distribution, land use, natural protected areas and forest utilization. Additionally, the zoning of soils was performed by means of photointerpretation of geoforms in 1:20000 orthophoto maps for the location and analysis of 16 soil profiles and the analysis of hydrocarbon contamination in 20 sites. Furthermore, a dasometric inventory of 30 transects was performed. The mangrove area was determined with a supervised classification of 2009 SPOT 5 satellite images. Mangroves occupied 41,498.5 ha of Solonchak and Histosol soils. Mangroves contained up to 1184 trees ha−1 and had a maximum average height of 19 m. Regionalization determined that 55.0% of mangroves require protection, 5.8% correspond to an area polluted by heavy hydrocarbons and require restoration, and 39.2% require utilization by inhabitants.