1.    What is ENVIS?

 ENVIS- Environmental Information System

Environmental information plays a vital role not only in formulating environmental management policies but also in the decision making process aiming at environmental

protection and improvement of environment for sustaining good quality of life for the living beings. Hence, management of environment is key component and thus plays an important role in effecting a balance between the demands and resources available for keeping the environmental quality at a satisfactory level. Realizing such need Ministry set up an Environmental Information System (ENVIS) in 1983 as a plan programme as a

comprehensive network in environmental information collection, collation, storage, retrieval and dissemination to varying users, which include decision-makers, researchers, academicians, policy planners and research scientists, etc. ENVIS was conceived as a distributed information network with the subject-specific centers to carry out the mandates and to provide the relevant and timely information to all concerned. Further, association of the various State Governments/UTs was also felt necessary in promoting the ENVIS network to cover a wide range of subjects. The subject area for States/UTs ENVIS Centers was the status of environment and related issues. Thus, the network was expanded gradually with the involvement of thematic subject-areas and State Government/UT departments to make it a more comprehensive environmental information network. ENVIS network at present consists of a chain of 68 network partners out of which 27 are on ENVIS Institutional Centres -Subject Specific and 14 are ENVIS NGO Centres (Subject specific) and 27 are ENVIS Government Centres (State Government). These network partners are called ENVIS Centers and are located in the notable organizations/institutions/State/UT Government Departments/Universities throughout the country. The focal point of ENVIS is located in the Ministry and assists the Environment Information (EI) Division in coordinating the activities of all the ENVIS network partners by making ENVIS a web-enabled comprehensive information system.



2.    Why does the ENVIS network started?

·         To build up a repository and dissemination centre in Environmental Science and Engineering.


·         To gear up state-of-the-art technologies of information acquisition, processing, storage, retrieval and dissemination of information of environmental nature.


·         To support and promote research, development and innovation in environmental information technology.



3.    What is the difference between ENVIS and NIOT?

ENVIS Centre - It is Environmental Information System, and have all available information's based on the theme, whereas NIOT is a research institute  which develops reliable indigenous technology to solve the various engineering problems associated with harvesting of non-living and living resources in the Indian Exclusive Economic Zone, which is about two-thirds of the land area of India.


4.    Is there any research undergoing with ENVIS?

Yes, different theme oriented researches and informative programmes are being undertaken by various ENVIS centre's.


5.    What are all the social activities  conducted  by ENVIS?

Coastal cleanup at Royapuram http://iomenvis.nic.in/photogallery.aspx?catid=10&mid=3&langid=1

Campus Clean up Programme at A.C.Tech campus http://iomenvis.nic.in/photogallery.aspx?catid=29&mid=3&langid=1

International day for biodiversity http://iomenvis.nic.in/photogallery.aspx?catid=24&mid=3&langid=1



1. How is the CRZ delineated in India its definition?

The CRZ area in India is defined as coastal stretches of seas, bays, estuaries, creeks, rivers and backwaters which are influenced by tidal action (in the landward side).  As per the notification, 500m on the landward side from the High Tide Line (HTL) and the land area between the Low Tide Line (LTL) and HTL including 500m along the tidal influenced water bodies subject to a minimum of 100m on the width of the water body, whichever is less is declared as CRZ area. 

2. I'm an NRI who bought a plot of land on ECR close to the beach, some years ago. As I am retiring soon, I was preparing to build a house. But I understand that I cannot build a house within 500m from the coastal line (I think CRZ III). Is that true? What exactly can I do with it now?  

The Central Government issued a Notification dated 19th February 1991 u/s 3(1) and section 3(2) (v) of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 and rule 5(3) (d) of the Environment (Protection) Rules 1986 declaring Coastal Stretches as Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) and regulating activities in the CRZ.

If the concerned plot is within 500 metres and is classified as CRZ - III then the development or construction activities are regulated in accordance with the following norms:-

(1) The area upto 200 metres from the high tide line is earmarked as "No Development Zone". No construction is permitted within this zone except for repairs of existing authorized structures not exceeding existing FSI, existing plinth area and existing density. However, certain uses such as agriculture, horticulture, garden pastures, parks, play-fields, forestry and salt manufacture from sea water may be permissible in this zone.

(2) Development of vacant plots between 200 and 500 metres from the high tide line in designated areas of CRZ-III with prior approval of the Ministry of Environment and Forests is permitted for construction of hotels/beach resorts for temporary occupation of tourists/visitors subject to the conditions as stipulated in the guidelines given under Annexure II of the Coastal Regulation Zone Notification as amended on 16/8/1994.

(3) Construction/reconstruction of dwelling units between 20 and 500 metres of the high tide line is permitted so long as it is within the ambit if traditional rights and customary uses such as existing fishing villages and gaothans. Building permission for such construction/reconstruction will be subject to the conditions that the total number of dwelling units shall not be more than twice the number of existing units; total covered area on all the floors shall not exceed 33 percent of the plot size; the overall height of construction shall not exceed 9 metres and construction shall not be more than 2 floors (ground floor plus one floor)

(4) Reconstruction/Alterations of an existing authorized building is permitted subject to (i) to (ii) above.

3. My house adjoins the Adyar river in little Mount. We first got approval from the Corporation to build the ground floor in 1975. And now I am interested in building the first floor. Will I be given permission to build it and whom should I approach now?  

As the ground floor plan for your house was approved, there should be no problem in acquiring permission for the first floor as long as the original layout is followed. The plan should be submitted through the Corporation to the CMDA as the said plot comes within the CRZ II category. Also if there is an existing road that separates the river from your house, then sanction can even be got for extension of ground floor.   

4. What are the four zones in CRZ as per the 1991 Notification?

Category I (CRZ-I):</strong> Areas that are ecologically sensitive and important, such as national parks/marine parks, sanctuaries, reserve forests, wildlife habitats, mangroves, corals/coral reefs, areas close to breeding and spawning grounds of fish and other marine life, areas of outstanding natural beauty/historically/heritage areas, areas rich in genetic diversity, areas likely to be inundated due to rise in sea level consequent upon global warming and such other areas as may be declared by the Central Government or the concerned authorities at the State/Union Territory level from time to time. Area between Low Tide Line and the high Tide Line.    

5. Can you give some input on the M.S. Swaminathan Committee report? 

The M.S. Swaminathan Committee was the most recent one constituted to carry out a quick but comprehensive review of the CRZ Notification, 1991. The committee redefined the coastal zone, as the area from the territorial waters limit including its sea bed upto the landward boundary of the local self government abutting the sea coast. It also included inland water bodies influenced by tidal action including its bed and adjacent land area upto the landward boundary of the local self-government abutting such water bodies. In case of ecologically sensitive areas, the entire notified area/biological boundary of the area would be included.

A new categorization of the coastal zone was suggested:

1. Coastal Management Zone-I (CMZ-I) - areas designated as ecologically sensitive.
2. Coastal Management Zone-II (CMZ-II) - areas identified as areas of particular concern such as economically important areas, high population areas and culturally/strategically important areas. 
3. Coastal Management Zone-III (CMZ-III) - all other open areas including the coastal seas, but excluding those areas classified as CMZ-I, CMZ-II and CMZ-IV. 
4. Coastal Management Zone-IV (CMZ- IV) - Islands of the Andaman and Nicobar and Lakshadweep.

The committee recommended that vulnerability mapping be carried out for the entire country and also suggested that the MoEF should have funding mechanism for preparation of Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plans for Ecologically Sensitive Areas, Integrated Management Plans for areas of particular concern, monitoring and enforcement, capacity building, awareness programme, bio-shields afforestation, women empowerment, participatory planning and development, warning systems and shelters against natural hazards, and all other programmes necessary for the integrated coastal area management in the country. A coastal policy and rules on the lines recommended by this Committee would be issued as a notification under the EPA (1986). A National Board was proposed for Sustainable Coastal Zone Management (CZM) to review periodically the implementation of the National Coastal Zone Management Action Plan, to initiate timely mid-corrections, where needed.
6. What are the main laws governing the Indian coast?

For the purpose of protecting and conserving the environment the Environment (Protection) Act (EPA) 1986 was enacted. Under the EPA, MoEF has issued various Notifications for control of pollution and conservation of environmentally sensitive areas. The Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification was one such, issued in 1991. Apart from the CRZ Notification, 1991 there are many legislations/ Acts and rules related to coastal activities. The following are the important ones: Indian Fisheries Act 1897, Indian Ports Act 1902, Merchant Shipping Act 1974, Wildlife (Protection) Act (WPA) 1972, Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1974, Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1981, Indian Coast Guards Act 1974, Maritime Zones of India (Regulation of Fishing by Foreign Vessels) Act 1981, EPA 1986, The Petroleum Act 1934, National Environment Tribunal Act 1995, Hazardous Wastes (Management and Handling) Rules 1989 and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) notification 1994. 

7. I have a land near ECR and would like to build a resort or restaurant in that area. I need some information regarding CRZ plan to construct in that place.  
As per the CRZ Notification (1991) under the Environment Protection Act (1986), construction of beach resorts/hotels with prior approval of MoEF in the designated areas of CRZ-III for temporary occupation of tourists/visitors shall be subject to the following conditions:

i) The project proponents shall not undertake any construction (including temporary constructions and fencing or such other barriers) within 200 metres (in the landward wide) from the High Tide Line and within the area between the Low Tide and High Tide Line; 
(ia) live fencing and barbed wire fencing with vegetative cover may be allowed around private properties subject to the condition that such fencing shall in no way hamper public access to the beach;
(ib) no flattening of sand dunes shall be carried out;
(ic) no permanent structures for sports facilities shall be permitted except construction of goal posts, net posts and lamp posts.
(id) construction of basements may be allowed subject to the condition that no objection certificate is obtained from the State Ground Water Authority to the effect that such construction will not adversely affect free flow of ground water in that area. The State Ground Water Authority shall take into consideration the guidelines issued by the Central Government before granting such no objection certificate.

Though no construction is allowed in the No Development Zone for the purposes of calculation of FSI, the area of entire plot including 50% of the portion which falls within the No Development Zone shall be taken into account.

The total plot size shall not be less than 0.4 hectares and the total covered area on all floors shall not exceed 33 per cent of the plot size i.e. the FSI shall not exceed 0.33. The open area shall be suitably landscaped with appropriate vegetal cover; 
The construction shall be consistent with the surrounding landscape and local architectural style; 
The overall height of construction upto highest ridge of the roof, shall not exceed 9 metres and the construction shall not be more than 2 floors (ground floor plus one upper floor); 
Ground water shall not be tapped within 200m of the HTL; within the 200 metre – 500 metre zone, it can be tapped only with the concurrence of the Central/State Ground Water Board; 
Extraction of sand, levelling or digging of sandy stretches except for structural foundation of building, swimming pool shall not be permitted within 500 metres of the High Tide Line;
The quality of treated effluents, solid wastes, emissions and noise levels, etc. from the project area must conform to the standards laid down by the competent authorities including the Central/State Pollution Control Board and under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986; 
Necessary arrangements for the treatment of the effluents and solid wastes must be made. It must be ensured that the untreated effluents and solid wastes are not discharged into the water or on the beach; and no effluent/solid waste shall be discharged on the beach; 
To allow public access to the beach, at least a gap of 20 metres width shall be provided


8.For example I bought land before 1991 and i am going to build a house 2014. According to CRZ norms, How many clearance I have to get my new building construction near coastal are like CRZ and EIA?

First of all you may not be permitted to construct your house in the CRZ zone and apart from that EIA is meant for industries and other activities which may pollute the environment and there is no need for an EIA for constructing a house.


9.What are the regulations for construction of offshore structures?

Publications of Indian Register of Shipping. Kindly read the following URL for more information. (SOURCE: http://www.irclass.org/publications-indian-register-shipping)


10.Methods of shoreline mapping?

Data source, Rectification/ Correction, Image Enhancement, Compilation of QA/ QC, digital shoreline analysis system, Vector-based shoreline change analysis, Maps and data products.(Source : http://ncscm.org/sites/default/files/pondy_report_web.pdf)


11.What is the first largest beach in all over the world?

Praia Cassino Beach, Brazil.( first largest beach in all over the world)


12.Which is the first largest beach in the Asia?

The Marina is a natural urban beach along the Coramandel coast on the Bay of Bengal. Primarily sandy, the beach spans about 13 km (8.1 mi), running from near Fort St. George in the north to Besant Nagar in the south and is the longest natural urban beach in India.


13.What is the stretches of Marina beach along the coast?

The beach runs from near Fort St. George in the north to Besant Nagar in the south, a distance of 13 km (8.1 mi).


14.What is the stretches of Indian coastal lines?

Length of coastline  7516.6 km

Mainland: 5422.6 km

Island Territories: 2094 km



1.How do mangroves and Coral reef act as a shelter for the coast? 

Mangrove and coral ecosystems have many values. One such is the protective function against wave and storm energy, both in terms of ongoing coastal erosion and from potentially destructive cyclones or typhoons. Mangrove ecosystems help to bind marine and terrestrial sediments, reducing coastal erosion and supporting clear offshore waters favorable to corals. Mangrove and coastal ecosystems can also protect shorelines by limiting the extent of wave intrusion, and subsequent salt damage to land. The shoreline protection services of mangrove and coral ecosystems are particularly valuable during extreme weather events, such as cyclones, typhoons and storms.

Coral reefs dissipate wave and storm energy and create lagoons and sedimentary environments favorable for the growth of mangroves and sea grasses. Reef  provide a natural buffer against waves, storm surge and floods for most of the coastline. During storms they are a key factor in preventing loss of life, property and erosion. They contribute to the formation of sandy beaches and sheltered harbours. Healthy reefs offer the coast at least twice as much protection as dead reefs. Healthy reefs have rougher surfaces, which provide friction that slows the waves substantially in comparison with smoother, unhealthy ones. 

2. What are the types of coastal defense construction?

A belt of trees and / or shrubs arranged as a protection against strong winds a type of windbreak. A shelterbelt decreases the force of the wind near the ground, and act as a barrier. Coastal defence construction features generally fall into two categories.

Hard Defences

Defenses that tend to confront and resist the natural coastal processes, the static shoreline structures such as those constructed from timber, steel, concrete, asphalt andrubble.These involve linear structures such as sea walls, revetments and breastwork and control structures of artificial headlands, offshore breastwork and groynes.

Soft Defences

Defenses designed to work with, rather than against the natural coastal processes. They tend to absorb rather than reflect wave energy and to be dynamic rather than static. Mobile/ responsive defence measures which seek to work with nature rather than control it. Such structures may consist of sand or shingle beaches and dunes or banks) which may be natural or constructed, and may include control structures. These can include soft solutions of beach nourishment, cliff/dune stabilisation, bypassing and managed retreat. 

3.Where is largest mangroves situated?

The Sundarbans is the World’s largest mangrove forest situated at the southwest region of Bangladesh in the districts of Bagerhat, Khuna and Satkhira. 60% of its total area is in Bangladesh and it’s shared by both India and Bangladesh


4.Why mangroves has more diversity?

From an ecological perspective, mangroves are a unique and significant ecosystem. They support a diverse range of plants including palms, trees, shrubs and even ferns, which have developed unusual adaptations to the prevailing environmental conditions. In fact these plants have been so successful in their development that mangroves are among the most productive natural systems found throughout the world. Mangroves are used by a vast array of organisms as breeding, nursery and feeding areas. They also play a valuable role in foreshore protection, reducing erosion by cyclones and lessening the impact of storm surge. Because mangroves occupy the intertidal zone, they interact strongly with aquatic, inshore, upstream and terrestrial ecosystems and in this way mangroves help to support a diverse flora and fauna of marine, freshwater and terrestrial species. It is essential to regard biological diversity at three levels: genetic, species and ecosystem. The genetic diversity in mangroves is almost unknown. The movement of mangrove plant genetic material for reforestation purposes, or other uses, must be controlled and recorded more carefully than at present. Genetic material should come from local sources wherever possible, using good quality mangrove forest stands as the source of the material.

Mangrove species diversity is well known for the larger animals and plants, but poorly known for micro-organisms and insects. A crucial aspect of biodiversity for mangrove management is that many species use the mangrove forest ecosystem only part of the time (eg. fish, birds, crustaceans, shellfish). Thus, the mangrove habitat supports many more species as visitors, or indirectly, and these support functions must be taken into account as part of conservation management. Mangrove systems are diverse at the ecosystem level because mangroves can grow in a wide range of geographical, climatic, hydrological and edaphic (soil) conditions. There are also many strong and unique human cultural associations with mangroves country to country. Consequently the structure, productivity and functions of mangrove forest ecosystems are also highly variable.


5.What is the mechanism used by coral reef and mangroves to break waters?

Coastal trapping is the mechanism used by coral reef and mangroves to break waters.


6.Why coral reef region in ocean are called as sensitive zone whereas, mangroves are not?

The ESA's are very sensitive to the environmental changes and the areas are covered  with the unique ecosystem such as Coral reef and Mangroves. Yes, Mangroves are also considered as ESA; kindly refer the CRZ-1 rules and regulations.


7.If we plant mangroves on marina coast, what will be the consequence?

First of all mangroves will not grow in all conditions. It accommodates only in specific conditions

8.Why the coral does not grow in the high sedimentation region?

High levels of suspended sediments can smother coral colonies, clogging their mouths which can impair feeding. Suspended sediments can also serve to decrease the depth to which light can penetrate. In colder regions, murkier waters, or at depths below 70 m, corals may still exist on hard substrates, but their capacity to secrete limestone is greatly reduced. 


9.Can a coral reef cultivated in fish tank , if so how ?

Coral reef can be cultured in fish tank as it requires a specific condition like sun light, water depth, sediment, salinity, temperature etc which cannot be maintained in a fish tank.


10.How each coral seed find their parental pigment?

Coral seeds are defined as thick plating and massive medium large polyped stony corals that have the following basic color pigmentations. On the main surface of the coral there are bright pink or red pigments. The outer leading growth edge of the coral develops a bright green coloration. The corallite centers or eyes are bright green to bright yellow and they contain additional dots or spots of pigmentation.  There are also more blue pigments that occur on the main surface in between the pink/red pigmentation. The main parent colony has also developed very dense concentrations of corallites in the center.


11.What situation coral bleaching occur?

Coral reef bleaching is caused by various anthropogenic and natural variations in the reef environment including sea temperature, solar irradiance, sedimentation, xenobiotics, subaerial exposure, inorganic nutrients, freshwater dilution, and epizootics. Coral bleaching events have been increasing in both frequency and extent worldwide in the past 20 years. Global climate change may play a role in the increase in coral bleaching events, and could cause the destruction of major reef tracts and the extinction of many coral species.


12.Is there any possibilities for coral reef to survive in normal lake/river water?

If the following factors are present in lake or river water, coral reefs can survive there.

Factors influencing reef development include:


Light levels are critical in maintaining the coral-algal symbiotic association


Optimal temperature for coral growth is 73-77°F (23-25°C)


Excessive sedimentation reduces available light for coral growth


Corals require salinities between 30 and 40 parts per thousand


13.What is the food chain process of coral reef?

The food chain goes as follows: producers, which are photosynthetic organisms and have a key role in the reef system because they are not only the base of the food chain but all of the energy for the system comes from them (The Coral Reef Food Chain). Also, these producers are key to reef-building corals (The Coral Reef Food Chain). The reef-building corals have a relationship with the zooxanthellae, plant-like organisms that photosynthesis for reefs (The Coral Reef Food Chain). Then these producers are eaten by the consumers, which are either herbivores or carnivores (The Coral Reef Food Chain). It is important to notice that for coral reefs specifically some carnivores eat and keep in check the coral reefs themselves. “Fishing for a particular species obviously affects that species directly, but it also affects the animals and/or plants in both directions along the food chain - the predators and the prey of the fish will both be affected, and changes to them will also affect their predators and prey, and so on” (The Coral Reef Food Chain). A specific example includes the grouper fish, a very popular fish to eat, can be found in the Great Barrier Reef (Coral Reefs). The overfishing of grouper in some cases has led to an increase of damselfish, which is a major food supply for the Grouper fish. Damselfish, help create pockets in corals that are important for coral reef life (Coral Reefs). That's where the algae the damselfish feed upon grow (Coral Reefs). If the damselfish population isn’t controlled by natural predation, these algae can take over a reef, eventually killing it (Coral Reefs). Overfishing of other herbivorous fishes can also lead to high levels of algal growth in different cases.


14.How does the increase in salinity affect the coral reefs?

Reef corals exist in seawater salinities ranging from 25 to 42 per cent. At the lower end of the salinity tolerance range, following storm and flood events, corals can be killed by 'fresh waters'. Symptoms of coral stress caused by lowered salinities include excessive mucous release and loss of zooxanthellae (bleaching). Salinity impacts to corals are increased by other flood related stresses such as sedimentation, turbidity and increased ultraviolet radiation exposure. For example, shallow reefs in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Keppel Island region suffered almost complete mortality due to prolonged salinity stress following the 1991 Fitzroy River floods, and 50 per cent of the fringing reefs around Great Barrier Reef Snapper Island were killed by freshwater flood run-off in 1998.


15.Why coral reefs are densely populated especially in the northern and southern region (Tropical) of the equator...?

The fundamental factor governing the tropical reefs along the circum-tropical belt is sunlight.

16.When the coral reefs are formed?

Coral reefs begin to form when free-swimming coral larvae attach to submerged rocks or other hard surfaces along the edges of islands or continents. As the corals grow and expand, reefs take on one of three major characteristic structures —fringing, barrier or atoll. Fringing reefs, which are the most common, project seaward directly from the shore, forming borders along the shoreline and surrounding islands. Barrier reefs also border shorelines, but at a greater distance. They are separated from their adjacent land mass by a lagoon of open, often deep water. If a fringing reef forms around a volcanic island that subsides completely below sea level while the coral continues to grow upward, an atoll forms. Atolls are usually circular or oval, with a central lagoon. Parts of the reef platform may emerge as one or more islands, and gaps in the reef provide access to the central lagoon.


17.What are the medicinal uses of coral reefs?

Coral reef plants and animals are important sources of new medicines being developed to treat cancer, arthritis, human bacterial infections, Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, viruses, and other diseases.


18.Methods for coral restoration?

Methods for coral restoration

There are many methods and techniques available for active coral restoration, many of which are very cheap and easy to construct or maintain. But, the science behind coral conservation and restoration is relatively new, and these techniques are constantly being improved. As time goes on, the techniques for coral restoration have advanced but the basic principle is still the same; secure broken corals so they will survive. This can be done due to the fact that corals reproduce primarily through asexual means, and any individual polyp in the colony has the potential to create a new colony in the right conditions. For some corals, such as branching or bushy colonies, asexual reproduction through budding or breakage is a major mechanism in which they spread out, and is referred to as propagation. Today, we use stronger and more long-lasting materials to secure the corals onto (concrete, steel, ceramics, limestone, etc), or simply replant them securely to natural reef areas. Corals can be secured to a solid structure using a wide variety of straps, glues, wedges and other techniques. If a coral has been secured in an area where the physical conditions are conducive for that coral colony’s growth, than it will thrive as long as it is secure in place. Securing coral fragments, or ‘coral gardening,’ is not quite as simple as just attaching the coral; the conditions must be conducive for growth. In restoring coral reef through asexual propagation and the securement of coral fragments as discussed above, there are three primary or foundational objectives that are either addressed individually or in unison; (1) Increase solid structures available for coral growth, (2) increase coral coverage (3) alter growing conditions. These objectives can also be referred to structural, biological, and physical conditions


Structural Restoration


Structural restoration generally involves the construction of artificial reefs, sinking of wrecks, or relocation of rocks/dead coral heads. The goal is to increase the amount of reef structure and habitat available for the corals and other reef organisms to grow on. Structural restoration is required in areas were the reef has been lost due to disturbances such as blast fishing, boat grounding, dredging, landslides, etc.


Biological Restoration


Biological restoration usually involves increasing the amount of living corals on the reef in areas were structure is already available. This is generally achieved through methods such as collecting and rehabilitating naturally broken coral fragments, propagating coral colonies, culturing coral larvae, or transplanting living coral colonies. The general goal of biological restoration is to regrow corals in areas where populations have been diminished or lost. This is most generally required in areas which have been impacted by bleaching, disease, predation, algae overgrowth, sedimentation, etc. 


Physical restoration


Physical restoration involves addressing the conditions in which the corals are growing to improve their health, growth rates, or fecundity (reproductive ability). These methods have generally been developed more recently, and some are still in the experimental stages. Methods include mid-water coral nurseries or mineral accretion devices such as Biorock technology. Mid-water nurseries are used as a staging area for rehabilitation of damaged or propagated corals before they are placed back out onto artificial or natural substrates. By floating in mid-water, the nurseries can be placed in areas with high water quality (such as in the open ocean), but still maintain the same ambient light levels which the corals and their zooxanthallae are adapted to.


What are the species present in mandapam coastal dunes?

Considering the dunes it is a specific environment with unique species varieties. Taking in to account the Mandapam coast, the major biological forms are benthic organisms like  polychaetes and the vegetations include herbaceous crawling plant species like Ipomea pes-caprae, Cyperus arenarius and Spinifix littoreus. Large scale plantation of Acacia planifrons, Prosopis juliflora, Casurina equisetifolia on the sand dunes were introduced species 15-20 years before in Mandapam. Thespesia populnea, Azadiracta indica, Tamarindus indica and Prosorus indicus were present earlier. Coconut and cashew plants are also now planted in the sand dunes. The habitat complexity within seagrass meadows enhances the diversity and abundance of animals. The high primary productivity rates of seagrasses are closely linked to the high production rates of associated fisheries. These plants support numerous herbivore and detritivore based food chains. The seagrass species located in and around Mandapam are Potamogetonaceae - Cymodocea serrulata, Cymodocea rotundata , Syringodium isoetifolium, Halodule uninervis , Halodule pinifolia, Hydrocharitacea- Enhalus accoroides, Halophilla ovalis, Halophilla beccarii, Halophilla decipiens and Thalassia hemprichii.


19.Methods to study flora and fauna communities along coastal sand dunes?

A line transects of about 10000m (approximately) were laid randomly (wherever the vegetation cover was predominantly found) in  different locations at different distance gradients from the shoreline in each area. Every species found along the  transects are recorded by observation while walking. Species are identified then and there. Species were identified by using published flora  and fauna . All recorded species were divided into annual versus perennial groups. Coastal sand dune area at each field station of coastline was divided into Foredunes, Leeward, and Hinter land . Different season an area of 10mX10m sand dune sampling sites were selected in which 1mX1m quadrate along the transect perpendicular to the shore were laid randomly to study species composition. Data will be normally  collected systematically by investigating the fishermen community as well as local people using a specific questionnaire prepared for the purpose to document. The voucher specimens were collected and identified by referring to standard flora and fauna.  Mark-recapture and distance-sampling are established methods for estimating density in wildlife surveys.


20.Location of sand dunes along  Tamil Nadu coast?

Sand dunes are seen along Tamil Nadu  coastal districts of  Thiruvallur, Chennai, Panaiyur Chinnakuppam of  Kancheepuram, Vilupuram, Ramanathapuram, Manapadu  of Thoothukudi, Thirunelveli ,Kanyakumari , south Poigainallur of Nagapattinam


21.How to test the salt content of an estuary water? 

Using Probe instrument we can test the salt content of the estuary water.


22.Major difference between estuary and lagoon.

A lagoon is a body of salt water separated from the deeper sea by a shallow or exposed barrier beach, sandbank, coral reef, or similar feature. An estuary is a partly enclosed coastal body of water with one or more rivers or streams flowing into it, and with a free connection to the open sea.



23.What is the major difference between Swamp and Estuary?

Swamp – a wetland ecosystem characterized by mineral soils with poor drainage and by plant life dominated by trees .Swamps are found throughout the world, most often in low-lying regions (with poor drainage) next to rivers, which supply the swamp with water. Some swamps develop from marshes that slowly fill in, allowing trees and woody shrubs to grow.

An estuary is a partly enclosed coastal body of brackish water with one or more rivers or streams flowing into it, and with a free connection to the open sea.


24.Is there any treatment available to convert estuary water into a potable water by removing the impurities present in it?

The Nemmeli Desalination Plant is a reverse osmosiswater desalination plant at NemmeliChennai, on the coast of the Bay of Bengal that supplies water to the city of Chennai. It is located about 35 km south of the city centre, along the East Coast Road. Built at a cost of INR 5,333.8 million, the plant is the second desalination plant in the city after the 100-MLD plant at Minjur and has a capacity to treat 100 million litres of seawater a day (MLD).

The plant treats the seawater by means of several units, including those containing disc filters and ultra filtration membranes, to remove the suspended solids in the seawater. Then the water is sent to the final stage of the treatment process through reverse osmosis membranes before distribution, which reduces the total dissolved solids in seawater from about 40,000 parts per million (ppm) to 300 ppm, thus making it potable.

In the first phase of its operation, about 50 mld of treated water is expected to be   transmitted, with the amount getting stepped up gradually. 

In December 2013, the plant touched its full capacity generation of 100 MLD.



1.    How sea water fish survives in fresh water?

All living organisms have to maintain a certain level of a substance in order to survive. This is called homeostasis. Salt water fish need salt water to live because their cells have adapted to high concentration of salts being around them. Because they are in a high concentration of salt their cells inside do not need as much water. The opposite is true for fresh water fish. If you put a salt water fish into fresh water the fishes cells would take in too much water and eventually burst. If you put a fresh water fish in salt water it would become dehydrated.


2.    Do fishes drink water ?

Freshwater fish do not actively drink water, but absorb the water through their skin and gills. On the other hand, saltwater fish do actively drink sea water. Their gills process the water and take out the salt.


3.    Does the cosmogenous sediments from space affect/change the characteristics of surrounding deposited sediments in the sea bed/land..?

Cosmogenous sediments are the remains of space debris such as comets and asteroids, made up of silicates and various metals that have impacted the Earth. These sediments occur rarely so they do not affect the sediments in the sea bed.


4.    How cosmogenous sediments are extracted?

Inorganic sediments that originate by the accumulation of materials from outer space. There are two main types of cosmogenous sediments. 1) "Cosmic spherules" form when sand-sized particles of interplanetary dust melt as they enter the upper atmosphere at speeds of about 12 km/sec. These small spherical objects can be removed from deep-sea sediments with strong magnets. 2) Impact deposits form when large asteroids or comets impact the Earth at speeds of 15 to 60 km/sec. The enormous explosions blast meteorite material great distances. One impact 65 million years ago (that killed all the dinosaurs and many other species) left a sediment layer over the entire surface of the Earth.


5.    Difference between the physiology of phytoplanktons and terrestrial plants?

·         Phytoplankton are salt tolerant, but the land plantsare not salt tolerant. 

·         Phytoplankton does not show vascular tissue, landplants are vascular plants. 

·         Phytoplankton is non-flowering; land plants are mostly flowering plants.

·         Phytoplankton are smallest or tiny (in micrometer or less 10-6 m), whereas land plants are tallest 100meters above the ground.

6.    Difference between the photosynthesis  of phytoplankton and plants? 

Through photosynthesis, phytoplankton consumes carbon dioxide on a scale equivalent to forests and other land plants. Some of this carbon is carried to the deep ocean when phytoplankton die, and some is transferred to different layers of the ocean as phytoplanktonare eaten by other creatures, which themselves reproduce, generate waste, and die. Phytoplankton is responsible for most of the transfer of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to the ocean. Carbon dioxide is consumed during photosynthesis, and the carbon is incorporated in the phytoplankton, just as carbon is stored in the wood and leaves of a tree. Most of the carbon is returned to near-surface waters when phytoplanktons are eaten or decompose, but some falls into the ocean depths. 

Photosynthesis is a process used by plants and other organisms to convert light energy, normally from the Sun, into chemical energy that can be later released to fuel the organisms' activities. This chemical energy is stored in carbohydrate molecules, such as sugars, which are synthesized from carbon dioxide and water – hence the name photosynthesis, from the Greek φῶς, phōs, "light", and σύνθεσις, synthesis, "putting together". In most cases, oxygen is also released as a waste product. Most plants, most algae, and cyanobacteria perform photosynthesis, and such organisms are called photoautotrophs. Photosynthesis maintains atmospheric oxygen levels and supplies all of the organic compounds and most of the energy necessary for life on Earth.

Although photosynthesis is performed differently by different species, the process always begins when energy from light is absorbed by proteins called reaction centres that contain green chlorophyll pigments. In plants, these proteins are held inside organelles called chloroplasts, which are most abundant in leaf cells, while in bacteria they are embedded in the plasma membrane. In these light-dependent reactions, some energy is used to stripelectrons from suitable substances such as water, producing oxygen gas. Furthermore, two further compounds are generated: reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) and adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the "energy currency" of cells.

In plants, algae and cyanobacteria, sugars are produced by a subsequent sequence of light-independent reactions called the Calvin cycle, but some bacteria use different mechanisms, such as the reverse Krebs cycle. In the Calvin cycle, atmospheric carbon dioxide is incorporated into already existing organic carbon compounds, such as ribulose bisphosphate (RuBP). Using the ATP and NADPH produced by the light-dependent reactions, the resulting compounds are then reduced and removed to form further carbohydrates such as glucose.


7.    How does phytoplanktons take carbon dioxide from seawater?

Phytoplankton absorbs carbon dioxide through photosynthesis process.

8.    In which region where the wave breaking happens in the coastal areas?

Breaking Waves

Waves in the lonely stretches of the open sea are little noticed by anyone but the occasional sailor. But once they reach shore, they become much more interesting. When waves break, or become unstable and topple forward, they thrill beachgoers and dramatically reshape the coastline.

 As these peaks move away from the wind, they spend some of their energy through motion. This causes the peaks to smooth out into rounded swells. The swells collide with one another, and some of them combine through constructive interference. The larger, rounded swells begin to travel in approximately the same direction as the prevailing wind that originally created the white caps.

The swells become breaking waves when they reach shallower water. This can happen at the shoreline, at a point extending into the ocean or when the waves pass over an obstruction like a sandbar or a reef. 


9.    What would happen if there is no salinity in marine water?

Well and good we will have bounty of fresh water.


10.  Is there any technique used to estimate the salinity of sea water?

The advancement in the technology helped developing an instrument that replaced the titration method of measuring salinity of seawater. This instrument is called 'CTD profiler'. Each of the alphabets in the 'CTD' stands for measuring the properties of seawater Conductivity (C) and Temperature (T) with Depth (D) in the sea. This instrument is lowered from ships in the seawater to a desired depth to get profiles of temperature and salinity. Interestingly, this instrument does not measure salinity directly, but by measuring conductivity (how easily electric current passes through the seawater), scientists can get a measurement of that water sample's salinity because electric current passes much more easily through water with a higher salt content. So, if we know the conductivity of the water, we can calculate how much salt is there in the water.


11.  From when on-wards  research on oceans are started and which stimulates us to research on it.


12.  What are the drawbacks and good things in ocean research?

It depends on individual research.

13.  Current oceanographic researches?

Kindly refer the following site for current oceanographic researches

(SOURCE: https://scripps.ucsd.edu/research/integrated-themes)


14.  What are the research options relating to the coastal management?

There are infinite options for research in coastal management. In particular many researches are going on protecting the coastal zones, coastal shelter belts, climate change and pollutions etc.



1.What are the mitigation measures for the climate change?

The following are some of the Mitigation Measures Climate Change

·         Implementing cost-effective fuel switching measures from high carbon fuels to low or zero carbon fuels such as renewable.

·         Implementing energy efficiency measures and providing global platforms for energy efficiency improvement programs.

·         Improving existing policies and practices to limit emissions e.g. controlling subsidies on fuels.

·         Measures to raise and expand carbon sinks that trap carbon dioxide such as forest management and proper land management etc.

·         Improving technology and developing techniques to control methane, nitrous oxide and other greenhouse gas emissions from the source.

·         Pre-planning for the adaptation to climate change consequences in the worst case scenario.

·         Promoting the use of non-fossil energy sources and conducting research to reduce emissions from existing fossil fuels.

·         Revising and implementing current energy efficiency standards globally to check emissions.

·         International collaboration among various climate groups and organizations to better understand the causes and impacts of climate change.

·         Continued research to reduce critical scientific uncertainties and improve existing climate models for better predictions of climate change.

·         Promoting environmental education and awareness training in schools and colleges for climate change and associated environmental issues.

·         Conducting volunteer programs and forming regional action groups to implement climate change mitigation measures.



2.What are the effects of climate change ?

Around the globe, seasons are shifting, temperatures are climbing and sea levels are rising. And meanwhile, our planet must still supply us – and all living things – with air, water, food and safe places to live. If we don't act now, climate change will rapidly alter the lands and waters we all depend upon for survival, leaving our children and grandchildren with a very different world. Some of the most dangerous consequences of climate change are Higher Temperatures, Changing Landscapes Wildlife at Risk, Rising Seas, Increased Risk of Drought, Fire and Floods, Stronger Storms and Increased Storm Damage, More Heat-Related Illness and Disease, Economic Losses etc.

The Earth could warm another 2 to 11.5°F this century if we fail to reduce emissions from burning fossil fuels and deforestation—devastating our livelihoods and the natural world we cherish.

3.If all the ice bergs in the world melts down what would be the scenario?

·         The Earth contains around five million cubic miles of ice and 80 per cent of this is in East Antarctica ice sheet alone

·         Scientists believe it would take more than 5,000 years for all the Earth’s ice to melt

·         Earth hasn't been ice-free since the Eocene epoch - a period of increased temperatures 34 million years ago

·         If this was repeated, sea levels could rise by 216 feet changing shorelines and engulfing entire cities worldwide

·         National Geographic has created a series of maps showing what continents would look like if the Earth’s ice melted


1.    Does the water coming out of a nuclear power plant really affect the aquatic ecosystem...? If Yes/No give me the reasons

Yes water coming out of a nuclear power plant really affects the aquatic ecosystem.

Aquatic Life (Impact Studies)

Energy companies take significant steps to reduce the number of fish trapped (impinged) on or drawn (entrained) through cooling water systems. Scientific studies demonstrate that aquatic life mortality at the cooling intake structure does not have an adverse impact on aquatic life populations in the water body. This is because this mortality is a very small percentage of the overall population (roughly 1 percent) and prolific reproduction quickly replaces those individuals lost.

 Aquatic Life (Mitigation Technologies)

To minimize the impact on aquatic life, power plant operators install and maintain proven fish protection technologies at cooling water intake structures. The use of a particular technology depends on the species in the habitat, the geographic location of the plant, the kind of water body, and the design and operating characteristics of the plant.

Some of these measures include physical barriers that prevent fish from entering the intake structure, such as stationary screens. Traveling screens that move above the intake structure are equipped with flushing structures to free the fish. Then collection systems such as baskets gather the fish and transport them to a recovery pond, where canals enable them to return to their habitat. Diversion systems direct fish away from the intake structure and include angled screens or louver systems that alter flow direction and velocity. Behavioral deterrents involving light or sound are also effective.


2.    What is the proper method to dispose nuclear waste in ocean without affecting the marine organisms? 

Approach to a solution of the radioactive waste disposal problem.

Kindly go through the following PDF for more information from page number 24 to 31 in the PDF file.



1.    What is microfossils?

Microfossils are the remains of tiny animals and plants found in rocks and sediment. They are very small and can be measured in millimetres (most are smaller than a pinhead). There are different groups of microfossils. Pollen and spores are examples of terrestrial microfossils. Common marine microfossils include foraminifera, dinoflagellates and radiolarians.


2.    What are the tests which are currently in use to examine fossils and how?

Fossil dating is the method which follows strict scientific guidelines:

  • the age of rocks around a fossil can be considered
  • mathematical calculations are used
  • the state of decay, carbon-14, and isotopes figure in calculations
  • tree of life relationships often help sort the dates

DNA Testing on fossils are used to examine fossils. Kindly refer the following link.

(SOURCE: http://www.ibdna.com/regions/UK/EN/?page=DNATestingOnFossils)