In order to increase the awareness of wetlands and their importance to the school children and residents of Navi Mumbai, which is one meter below High Tide Line (HTL), NMEPS organized with support from Mangroves Cell, Forest Department, Government of Maharashtra, on 22/11/2014, a Preserve Wetlands Walk. About 250 Students from 15 Schools/Colleges participated in the over one-kilometer walk around DPS Lake.
The participants were from schools and colleges in Nerul, Kharghar, Panvel and Belapur. Besides the schools, which regularly participate in NMEPS activates, over 100 students from the two Municipal schools in Karave and Belapur participated. These students do not get such opportunities and they really appreciated the event. NMEPS decided it should invite students from Municipal schools regularly.
The participants were divided into groups of 50 each and each group was accompanied by experts on mangroves /wetlands from Mangrove cell and NMEPS volunteers. They were explained the flora-fauna around DPS lake and Mangroves. Later all the participants assembled at Club House of SEL, where an audio visual presentation was made and talks were given by experts on the importance of wetlands/mangroves. School children from Podar International made presentations which were appreciated by the participants as it was done by children. Ms. Seema Adgaonkar, Range Officer, Forest Department, explained the different type of mangroves with photographs and actual plant saplings. NMEPS presented the need to preserve wetlands, mangroves and holding tanks otherwise Navi Mumbai would be flooded like Srinagar and Uttarkashi. The event concluded with an audio-visual film on Mangroves.
All participants took a pledge to preserve the environment and were given a certificate. The participating schools, the speakers and the Traffic Police API, Mr. Nitin Patil, who helped in the police arrangements, were presented with a memento. Light refreshments were distributed to all the participants.