Missing: 2,000 mangrove trees at a Madh Island plot hacked, burnt

Hindustan times

In just a year, 2,000 mangrove trees at a Madh Island plot, in an area protected under the Coastal Regulation Zone, have been hacked and burnt.

Centre notifies ESZ around Pulicat Bird Sanctuary


Yet in another historic attempt to conserve India’s second largest brackish water lake, the Central government has notified an area of two kilometres from north to south all along the western boundary of the Pulicat Bird Sanctuary within the Pulicat Lake in Andhra Pradesh as an Eco-Sensitive Zone (ESZ).

The Central government has notified the ESZ through a gazette (No. 1365) published on June 26, considering responses from all the stakeholders who responded positively to a draft notification, issued by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) in January 2014.

“It is necessary to protect the ESZ from ecological point of view, prohibiting any industrial activities including salt cultivation within the notified two-kilometre area. However, the State government (Andhra Pradesh) should prepare the ESZ management plan by June 2017,” the gazette reads.


Centre drafts cyclone risk plan for Mumbai, Thane

MUMBAI: The NDA government has drafted an ambitious Rs541 crore national cyclone risk mitigation plan for Mumbai, Mumbai suburban, Thane, Raigad, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg districts. 

Groynes soon for Ennore hamlets

K. Lakshmi.

With the environment clearance obtained recently for the project, work to construct ‘T’ shaped groynes — a collection of boulders laid into the sea and perpendicular to the shoreline — is set to begin in one or two months. These groynes will help in preventing further erosion of the coast and stop seawater incursion into fishing hamlets, particularly during monsoon.

The Water Resources Department will construct 10 groynes at regular intervals of 200-300 metres for a stretch of two kilometres near the villages of Ernavoorkuppam and Thalangkuppam along Ennore Expressway.

During northeast monsoon, residents of several villages, including Chinnakuppam and Netaji Nagar, face severe threat of erosion. Rough sea conditions during cyclones often result in flooding and road damage owing to storm surges.

Fishermen point scientists to ‘river in sea’

K. S. Jayaraman

Fishermen plying on the eastern coast of India have helped scientists discover a fresh water ‘river' that forms in the Bay of Bengal just after monsoon season1.

Arrows showing origin of the 'river in sea' n the Bay of Bengal all the way to the end. Locations from where fishermen colelcted water samples are named along the coast.
© Gopalakrishna, V. V. et al.
The ‘river in the sea’ forms in northern Bay of Bengal at the end of the monsoon and ‘vanishes’ gradually after a while. About 100 kilometres wide, it flows southward hugging the eastern coast of India and reaching the southern tip after two and a half months. The seasonal river in the sea was discovered by salinity measurements of sea water samples collected by fishermen along the coast.

The Bay of Bengal receives intense rainfall during the monsoon. This, and the run-offs from the rivers -- Ganges, Brahmaputra, Mahanadi, Godavari and Krishna -- bring around 1100 cubic kilometres of freshwater into the bay between July and September.

"This very intense freshwater flux into a relatively small and semi enclosed basin results in dilution of the salt in seawater," says one of the lead researchers V. V. Gopalakrishna, a scientist at the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), Goa. The diluting effect gets concentrated in the upper 40 metres of the bay waters, resulting in a stark contrast between surface freshwater and saltier water below, he says.

The presence of low salinity water (called stratification in oceanography parlance) over the Bay of Bengal prevents vertical mixing of sea water. This results in the accumulation of more heat in the near-surface layers, Gopalakrishna says. The sea surface temperature remains above 28.5°C, a necessary condition to maintain deep atmospheric convection and rainfall. Similarly, strong salinity stratification close to the coast would mean more intense tropical cyclones, he says.