February 2013

Land-Based Pollution Has Massive Adverse Effects On Coastal Communities

 By Marianne de Nazareth

25 February, 2013

As humans we are the dominant species on this tottering planet of ours and pollution has become an issue which has to be dealt with on a war footing today. This is because we have been careless about disposing of our waste and effluents and so now the impact is being felt across the planet on a variety of communities. Looking at how land based pollution is causing impacts on coastal communities, the pollution can come from various sources including general, sediments, nutrients, wastewater and litter pollutants.

Those of us who live inland could ask, why should we care? We don’t live near the ocean. Well, considering that oceans and major seas cover 70.8 % or 362 million km2 of the Earth’s surface and that half of the oxygen produced comes from oceans, we need to care, as it does affect us. Also, 90% of the world’s goods are transported by sea and 95% of the world's annual marine fish catch is from coastal/shelf fisheries.

Repaired seawall to help reclaim more city beaches

 K. Lakshmi

Fishing hamlets that face a constant threat of being washed away every time the sea gets rough, may soon be saved.

The shoreline along the Ennore Expressway, which runs the risk of sea erosion, will be protected by a seawall.

The Water Resources Department (WRD) is awaiting a government order to start the Rs. 26.58-crore project to repair the existing seawall along the 5.5-m stretch of the Ennore Expressway between Tollgate and Ennore and construct groynes between Ennore and Ernavoorkuppam. The height of the seawall would also be raised up to four metres.

Once the government order is obtained, the department would seek the assistance of IIT-Madras and Anna University to construct groynes worth Rs. 31.82 crore. The institutions would have to study the behaviour of waves and provide detailed design for the groynes, which is a collection of boulders laid perpendicular to the shoreline at regular intervals, to control wave action.

Soon, review of coastal zones


The Chennai Corporation and the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) on Wednesday decided to commence work on identifying authorised and unauthorised buildings in Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) areas.

On completion of the study in two months, statutory regulations will be in place and violations of CRZ norms in localities in the Chennai metropolitan area will be under the scanner by April.

At a meeting held by various civic bodies and the department of environment, the CMDA was entrusted with the task of compiling data on structures violating CRZ norms in the metropolitan area. The Chennai Corporation has also asked its zonal officials to commence survey of authorised and unauthorised buildings in CRZ areas in their zones.

Plea to stop building seawall, groynes

The National Green Tribunal, Southern Bench, on Tuesday ordered notices to the Central and State governments on a plea to stop the ongoing construction of “hard” structures, such as seawalls and similar measures that disrupt the natural movement of sand along the coastal areas in the districts of Cuddalore, Villupuram and Puducherry.

The Bench comprising judicial member Justice M. Chockalingam and expert member R.Nagendran also directed the Union and Tamil Nadu, Puducherry governments to file their reply on 28 February.

O. Fernandes, Co-convenor, Coastal Action Network, Chennai and C.H. Balamohan of Puducherry filed the application.

In their application, they said seawalls and groynes were being built without any carrying capacity studies at Chinnamudalaiyar Chavadi Kuppam in Villupuram district and Devanampattinam in Cuddalore district. The coastal environment of the Puducherry-Tamil Nadu region was already heavily impacted by the ongoing human induced erosion of the coast caused by the Puducherry harbour. Further armouring of the coast with seawalls and groynes would only result in reducing the carrying capacity of the coastal environment beyond the point of self-sustainability.

WRI Launches Water Risk Mapping Tool

30 January 2013: The World Resources Institute (WRI) has released the Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas, a mapping tool designed to present high resolution data on water risk. The global map within the Atlas is customizable across 12 physical, regulatory and reputational indicators.

The Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas, designed for use by investors, companies and governments, allows users to access the effects of water stress, flood occurrence, access to water and drought will affect them. Versions of Aqueduct have already been used by the number of companies, including McDonalds, Procter & Gamble, Owens-Corning and Bank of America Merrill Lynch to identify the impacts of water risk on supply chains and operations, and inform investment decisions. The maps can also be tailored for water-intensive industries including: agriculture; food and beverages; chemicals; electric power; semiconductors; oil and gas; mining; construction; and textiles.

Ratan Tata joins global leaders for Global Ocean Comm launch

New Delhi, Feb 12, 2013 (PTI)

Migrating Ocean Microbe May Help Protect Coastlines

A single-celled organism may move north with warmer waters and help reduce beach erosion

From butterflies to lobsters, climate change is expected to spur migration of species, with potentially devastating consequences for ecosystems and economies.

But in the case of a one-celled organism dwelling in the oceans namedAmphisteginid foraminifera, a change in its habitat may lessen the devastation to some coastlines at risk from erosion and powerful storms.

In a new study, scientists report that the discus-shaped creatures are likely to shift their ocean range by hundreds of miles as now too-cold ocean regions become more suitable to them.

Aftershocks stall aid efforts in tsunami-hit Solomons

HONIARA: Strong aftershocks hampered efforts to reach tsunami-hit villages in the Solomon Islands Friday, as the death toll after an 8.0-magnitude earthquake rose to nine, with many more reported missing.

Officials said damage on Ndende island in the eastern Solomons was much worse than first thought, with up to 20 villages swamped in atsunami generated by Wednesday's quake and 6,000 people homeless, doubling previous estimates.

"At first we thought it was going to be quite small but now it looks like it's going to be very big and communities will not be able to handle it themselves," national disaster management office spokesman Sipuru Rove said.

"This is where we might require external assistance."

90,000 concrete houses for cyclone-hit

A committee has been formed to manage the task of construction of 90,000 concrete houses for cyclone ‘Thane’ affected people in Cuddalore district which involved mobilisation of enormous amount of construction materials and substantial number of manpower, Collector R. Kirlosh Kumar told a press conference here on Thursday.


The Collector said it was estimated that as many as 54 crore bricks, 27,000 tonnes of cement, 13,950 tonnes of steel and 18 lakh cubic feet of sand would be required for the construction of all the houses sanctioned by the government for the district.

The bricks would be mobilised from Villupuram and Nagapattinam districts, and sand from quarries at the Gedilam, the Pennaiyar, the Vellar and the Kollidam. The scheme would be implemented by the Rural Development and the Panchayati Raj Department with the sanctioned staff strength. He also noted that beneficiary groups, each group consisting of 10 members, had also been formed to create awareness of the scheme, material mobilisation and speeding up the construction.

Rescue teams scramble to reach tsunami-hit villages in Solomon Islands

Disaster relief agencies were scrambling today to reach tsunami-hit villages in the Solomon Islands, warning the deathtoll following a powerful 8.0-magnitude quake is likely to rise.