What is Mangroves Forests ?
The word “Mangrove” is considered to be a combination of the Portuguese word “Mangue” and the English word “grove”. Mangroves are salt-tolerant plants of tropical and subtropical intertidal regions of the world. The specific regions where these plants occur are termed as ‘Mangrove Ecosystem’. These are highly productive but extremely sensitive and fragile. Besides mangroves, the ecosystem also harbours other plant and animal species.
Anthropological pressures and natural calamities are the enemies of the ecosystem. Growing industrial areas along the coastlines and discharge of domestic and industrial sewage are polluting these areas. Experiences have proved that the presence of mangrove ecosystems on coastline save lives and property during natural hazards such as tsunami, cyclones, storm surges and erosion. These ecosystems are also well known for their economic importance. They are breeding, feeding and nursery grounds for many estuarine and marine organisms. Hence, these areas are used for captive and culture fisheries.
Mumbai & Navi Mumbai, has between 35 and 45 square kilometers of mangrove forest. This is all that remains after almost 70% was destroyed in land reclamation projects, according to Debi Goenka, a Mumbai-based environmentalist.