Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Growing Awarness in Palk Bay Mangroves - OMCAR Environmental Education Trip Sep.2009

It was a sunny morning on 28th September 2009. I headed towards east in one of the estuarine canal of Koraiyar creek with 26 students from Rajamadam School . They are all from 11th standard NSS members. As the continution of this year environmental education field trips, OMCAR Foundation has invited these students for this Mangrove Ecology Education Field Trip in Muthupet mangrove reserve forest.
The forest has been changing slowly in the recent decades. Mysterious dieback of mangroves in some areas are threatening the mangroves, at the same time the exotic plants P.juliflora is spreading along the banks of the Koraiyar Creek.
Zonation (formation of zones) of mangrove forest has been slowly changed in the landward side of the mangrove forest due to shrimp farms and P.juliflora. I expect that in the next 10 years there is no space for Thillai maram (E.agallocha) in the forest as most of its distribution is already dominated by P.juliflora.
After an hour long trip along the Koraiyar creek we have landed on Chief corner that is located on the meeting point of Koraiyar creek and Mullipallam lagoon (lagoon is the salwater lake located adjacent to sea).
I delivered a field lecture to the students about global, national and state mangroves, conservation and threats. Topic slowly moved towards local mangroves and restoration efforts. Then the students were asked to observe the special morphological characters of mangroves and salt marshes.
This one day long trip help to convey the importance of mangrove conservation and its benefits to local socity - one of the objective of OMCAR Foundation.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Seagrass Nourish the Nearshores!!!
Hunderds of tons of seagrasses washed ashore on the coast of northern Palk Bay. It forms a thick mat of plants on the
shore. Tourists often thought to see the decayed seagrass mate as the polluted coast as it released sulphur di oxide along with black mud. It is actually a process of enriching the nutrients in beach.
These underwater submerged plants are uprooted by natural water agitation and by the fishing trawlers that scrap the shallow sea floors. Dense mats of decayed seagrasses symbolize the level disturbance and changing seasons and its infleunce on sea.
You can see a large school of migratory fishes that attracted close to the shore of northern Palk Bay coast. They are all attracted by the flourishing phytoplanktons that uptake nutrients from the nearshore waters (deposited by seagrasses and river inputs). Hence, you can get good quanity of fishes in monsoon.
Not a good fishing Day!
- says a catamaran fisher in Velivayal
It took about half an hour to ride his catamaran from the fishing point to the shore. It was not a good supportive pole to move the sliding catamaran on the peaceful morning. He was alone. I waited on the shore to see his fishes that not ended in good results. I could observe that the fishing net and his life were roled on the middle of the catamaran. Both of them have not seen enough fishes in the last months. Yes, I realize that all of us are waiting for monsoon. This fisher and the former who I met yesterday are waiting for the first drops of northeast monsoon. It will blossom the whole life of my region every year. Anyway, he has to keep his hope and net for tomorrow.
Vinca roseus (exotic plant) in Velivayal village