Mangroves of MumbaiThere were more than seven islands around Mumbai more than three hundred years ago. And the shorelines of those islands were covered with the plush green vegetation of Mangrove, the lifeline of the marine species of the surrounding areas. Mangroves are tropical plants with the quality of being tolerant to salt and mostly found in the intertidal regions. Mangroves are an essential part of ecosystem and highly sensitive and responsive to the natural occurrences.
Mumbai and its surrounding areas are bestowed with natural blessings of Mangroves as their ecosystem helps the marine organisms around these islands feed for themselves. Areas in Mumbai where the majority of Mangrove ecosystem is found are the Thane Creek, Vasai Creek, Manori, Malad, Versova, Mumbra Diva, and Siwari. These Mangroves are by trapping the slits, and avoiding the soil-erosion along the coastal lines helping in sustaining the integrity of the shoreline of Mumbai. There are a total number of 35 species of Mangrove can be found in Indian sub-continent among which at least 20 species are found in Maharashtra coastal area and 15 of them are found in Mumbai alone. These Mangroves help the city coping up with the major drawbacks of the climate change.
Destruction of Mangroves and the Threat to Urban LifeMumbai is the largest city which draws the maximum number of migrated population for various economic and social reasons. Due to the massive expansion of urban places the mangroves of Mumbai has long been facing a serious challenge to survive. The uninterrupted reclamation of land, the ever increasing population and metropolitan development and at the same time the Global warming, climate change etc. are resulting in a rapid erosion of the Mangrove ecosystem. The declination of Mangrove ecosystem would make the natural habitat life as well as the all over well-being of Mumbai and its surrounding areas.
Soonabai Pirojsha Godrej Marine Ecology Centre (SPGMEC), MumbaiThe Industrial family of Godrej has been doing a remarkable job regarding the preservation of the Mangroves of Mumbai. An immense area at the western bank of the Thane creek which is the largest Mangrove belt in Mumbai is being preserved by the Soonabai Pirojsha Godrej Marine Ecology Centre, a pet project of the Godrej family. This vast area of well diversifies Mangrove ecosystem is being protected and conserved by this organization.
There are a total number of 16 species of Mangroves are found in this creek. There are a good variety of fauna can also be found. More than 206 species of birds, 20 species of fishes, 30 species of reptiles enhance the value of the necessity of nature conservation and sustainability. The major fields of work the SPGMEC has taken on hands are mainly the Biodiversity Conservation, Combating Global warming and the Climate Change, Preservation of Mangroves as Bio-resources, solid waste management and protecting the animal life in Mangrove Environment. This organization offers various interacting sessions for all types of citizens through which they would become more nature-conscious and aware of preserving the natural wealth such as the Mangroves.
Mangroves are one of the most indispensable natural elements to cope up with the rapid climate change. The urban life of Mumbai and its surrounding areas vastly depend on this almost unexplored vital vegetation. Illegal expansion, garbage dumping, encroachment, toxic industrial pollutants are few of the common hazards perishing the mangroves of Mumbai. But with the help of organizations like the SPGMEC Mumbai steps towards the betterment of the condition.