On the weekend of 2nd and 3rd December 2017, New Acropolis India guided a series of activities towards sensitization, cleaning and restoration of Mumbai’s Mangroves. This started with an understanding of the fragility and challenges to the mangroves through a exclusive boat ride with Naturalists at Vikhroli, courtesy Godrej and a presentation on the mangrove bio-diversity. The activity was followed up the next day with clean-up and restoration events at Colaba and Bandra.
The activities involved over 60 volunteers with a collection of over a 1000 Kgs of garbage! Additionally, breakwaters that allow a healthy regeneration of mangroves were built to allow a healthy regeneration of the mangroves.
The restoration activities were all conducted on Sunday. Many Volunteers expressed that it was fulfilling to response to a need, no matter if it meant toiling in the sun on a Sunday afternoon.
This activity, was a continuation of various ecology activities conducted by New Acropolis in Mumbai, emphasizing that volunteering is “Philosophy in Action”
In a coastal city like Mumbai mangroves play an important role in the fragile ecosystem. They give more oxygen than landlocked trees, and their submerged root system serves as a nursery for small fish, crustaceans, crabs and other sea life. These plants also trap sediment that flows from rivers and off the land which helps prevent soil erosion resulting from waves and storms. In areas prone to typhoons and tsunami’s mangroves act as a natural barrier from the fury of nature.
Breakwaters were built by hauling loose stones to create a series of small stone walls. These walls were built to protect and help the mangroves regenerate. Placed strategically at specific distances, they are intended to act as barriers and stop the rocks flung by the tidal action from crushing the little mangrove saplings growing on the coastline. They will also retain the sand and sediment brought in by the waves, thus, over time help create a healthy bed of soil for the mangroves to grow.