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Click on Mission Mangroves video link and ask the audience what are they seeing and ask them to interpret the video
Mangroves are aptly known as Shorekeepers because they literally cling on the land surface and doesn’t allow the sea water to ingress and occupy the land. So having them at our shorelines ensure that our city is safe from floods and that we do not loose our precious land surface to sea.
Mangroves are trees or shrubs that are found at the interface between land and sea. They grow in coastal swamps, estuaries, mud-flats, seashores, riverbanks, intertidal regions of shallow bays and creek. They are the only plants that could survive in salt water & they have special roots that allow them to inhabit at water logged areas. Mangrove ecosystem is a peculiar habitat & the plant community of this ecosystem is termed as "mangrove vegetation".
The pop-up roots of mangroves are different from the actual roots. The role of these roots is to breath in air and exude excess salts. They form extensive network around the plant. This is the most peculiar feature in the plant kingdom and only mangrove species are known to have them
Coral reefs are built by colonies of tiny animals found in marine waters
Out of these 80% are present along the east coast, mostly forming the Sunderbans, Bhitarkanika and the Andaman & Nicobar mangroves. The remaining 20% mangroves are scattered on the west coast from Kutch to Kerala. The total area of mangroves in The reason for such a restricted mangrove cover is the peculiar coastal structure and the nature of estuaries formed by the relatively small and non-perennial rivers except Narmada and Tapi.
Name has been derived from the Sundari trees (the mangrove species Heritiera fomes) that are found in Sundarbans in large numbers. Once a widely spread species, it has now become almost extinct in W. Bengal. It produces timber of excellent quality which is said to be more expensive than teak.
1893 map of mumbai
Greater Mumbai is blessed to have its seafront protected by mangroves in most of the areas. In Mumbai the stretch is less extensive as in Thane and Navi Mumbai, which clearly highlights how development has taken toll on mangrove areas. Due to lack of awareness and improper planning Mumbai has lost most of its mangroves. The largest dumping site in Mumbai- Deonar is actually situated inside mangroves.
Around 15 species of true mangroves are found in Mumbai. 60 per cent of Mumbai mangroves comprise Avicennia marina. Not surprisingly, this species also tolerates pollution in the form of heavy metals such as lead, mercury and chromium, all found in significant concentrations in the Mithi River. Mangroves are home to several species insects, reptiles, birds, and mammals like crocodiles, waders, deer, monkeys, and honeybees. Many animals find shelter either in the roots or branches of mangroves.
the zonation in mangroves is not so simple and varies from place to place. Every species has its own level of salinity tolerance. Estuaries on east coast show distinct zonation. The high salinity range on the east coast estuaries may be the principal reason for distinct zonation there. The range and force of tidal action also play a determinant role in creation and maintenance of zones as distribution of seeds or propagules is influenced by tidal action. Also, tides do influence the salinity in an estuary.
1. Front mangroves (Proximal Zone): This zone is towards water front, subject to regular tidal effect. The mangrove species in this zone are specially adapted with stilt roots, prop roots for stability and anchorage. Main species with these features are Rhizophora apiculata and Rhizophora mucronata. On rocky and coral reef substrata, Avicennia Spp, Sonneratia Caseolaris are also found. Both Avicennia and Sonneratia produce pneumatophores. 2. Mid mangroves (Middle Zones): Above the Rhizophora/ Avicennia line luxuriant group of Bruguiera gymnorrhiza, B. Cylindrica, Lumnitzera racemosa, L. littoralis, Ceriops tagal and Aegiceras corniculatum occur. Ceriops and Bruguiera develop a strong hold fast in the form of knee roots or bent roots as a special adoption for supporting the erect bole. 3. Back mangroves (Distal Zone): Towards island area mangroves like Excoecaris agallocha, Heritiera littoralis and Xylocarnus spp occur. Both Heritiera and Xylocarpus produce buttresses.
This are few species of mangroves found in Mumbai.
A gregarious species seen in large stretches along the estuarine region and creeks. This is the first among mangrove species to establish itself in new habitats. Commonest on west coast of India and in Mumbai. Source of fuel, timber, pickle, cattle feed, tannin. Used as abortive, on fish bites and wounds .
As the common name suggests this belong to Red Mangrove Family. Mainly seen along sheltered estuaries and creeks. Source of firewood, charcoal, fodder, mosquito repellent, cure for diabetes, dysentery, haemorrhage Identified by prominent stilt roots and pointed leaf apex Few in Mumbai
Source of firewood, charcoal, tannin Leaves for blood pressure and fruits to stop bleeding Identified by knee roots Few in Mumbai
Source of timber, fodder, food (fruits), tannin Prominent knee roots Grows in unstable conditions, preferred for forestation
It is also known as Blinding Tree. The reason behind the curious name of this tree is that the milky sap of this tree can cause temporary blindness if it enters the eyes.
Some of the plants that grow within or in the peripheral area of mangrove wetlands. are considered as mangrove associates. They are tolerant to mild level of salinity
Salvadora Percica Seeds yield oil for soap industry Roots as astringent, toothbrush Leaves as food during famine, drought Commonest mangrove associate in Mumbai It is used in Meswak tooth paste
Acanthus ilicifolius Large presence indicates mangrove ecosystem degradation Twiny habit and spiny leaves Grow on high tide mark, lobster mounds Used as desiccant and to cure rheumatism, neuralgia, kidney stones, cold, skin allergy, ulcers, epilepsy
A large variety of fishes, molluscs, prawns, and crabs are totally dependent on the mangrove ecosystem. Deep sea fishes are known to use the habitat for breeding and rearing their juveniles in the food-rich and safe shelters of mangroves.
Mudskipper are fish. This fish-out-of-water has adapted to living mostly on land.
Fiddler crab are small crustaceans with a distinctive enlarged claw. They live on beaches, mud flats and marshes
Telescopium telescopium, or "Horn snail," is a species of marine gastropod mollusk in the family Potamididae. It is found in mangrove forests throughout the coastlines of the Indian Ocean.
Desert Small Salmon Arab is a mangrove butterfly and its caterpillars feeds on Salvadora percica.
They are also known as Teak defoliator, Mangrove moth caterpillars feeds on several species of mangroves and are a pest.
Endangered species like Olive ridley turtle and Monitor lizard are seen in the mangrove area near vasai creek.
The Olive ridley turtles are the smallest and most abundant of all sea turtles found in the world. Olive ridleys get their name from the coloring of their heart-shaped shell, which starts out gray but becomes olive green once the turtles are adults. They have one to two visible claws on each of their paddle-like flippers. They migrate hundreds or even thousands of miles every year, and come together as a group only once a year for the arribada, when females return to the beaches where they hatched and lumber onshore, sometimes in the thousands, to nest. The coast of Orissa in India is the largest mass nesting site for the Olive-ridley.
Mangroves serve as nesting areas for coastal birds. Many migratory species depend on mangroves during their seasonal migrations for food and shelter. Migratory birds like Flamingos can be seen in thousands at sewri mud-flats during winter.
Bats, Mongoose, Jackal, Wild Boar are seen in the mangroves around Mumbai.
Helps in Coastal Ecosystem - Mangrove is very important to coastal ecosystem. It is used to trap different kinds of chemical elements, organic materials and nutrients. The marine organism can get food from mangrove area. Mangroves have hard wood that people use to make boats and other products. The bark of the common mangrove is full of tannin. Tannin is a chemical used for turning animal hides into leather. Mangroves also have been used in medicine. Place of living - It provides nursery ground and habitat for many kinds of marine organisms Strom buffer - It can decrease the effect of wave and windy action on the shoreline. Water Quality - The water quality can be increased because of mangrove. It is due to the fact that the water will be filtered by eliminating the sediment, dust and debris. Air Quality - The amount of greenhouse gasses in the world can be decreased because the plants use the carbon dioxide for photosynthesis process. It can filter the polluted gas and changes it into oxygen. White Mangrove - widespread mangrove (Avicennia marina) They can grow until 5 meter with some flaking patches. fruit which can be eaten Mangrove and Human Being - Mangrove is not only important for the marine organism, but it also gives many benefits for the life of human being. we can avoid the risk of having tsunami or storm if the mangrove is very strong. Mangrove is also a good source of wood, fiber, medicine, fruit and seafood for human being.
Dumping, release of industrial effluents and untreated sewage in sea, encroachment, landfill and construction are major threats to mangroves in Mumbai.
The Mangrove Cell was created by the Government of Maharashtra on January 05, 2012 to protect, conserve and manage the mangroves of the State.The Cell has also been given the additional responsibility of conservation of coastal biodiversity.
Carter Road where the mangroves flourished in the last 10 years. This has been possible due to the participation of citizen’s forums fighting individually.
Protection of the mangrove ecosystem is possible only through the participation of the local community and by building up pressure groups for ensuring management and strict implementation of the legal provisions by the Government.Residents associations are coming together to spread awareness as they realize that the rapid destruction of mangroves along the coast of Mumbai will have far-reaching effects on the city.
NGOs in Mumbai are making efforts to highlight the issues like land reclamation, coastal regulation zone notification and illegal destruction of the mangrove areas through the interventions of the local state government and a local bodies.
Shorekeepers of Mumbai
By Dr. V. Shubhalaxmi
Founder & Managing Trustee
About Mission Mangroves
A special community impact initiative of United Way
Mumbai for conservation of mangroves in Mumbai.
• Plantation and maintenance of 1,00,001 Mangroves
in degraded wetlands
• Education and sensitization of citizens of Mumbai on
importance of Mangroves
Presentation covering topics such as
Introduction to Mangroves, Mangroves
Adaptation, Mangroves Distribution, Types of
Mangroves, Importance of Mangroves, Major
threats, Protective measures for Mangroves,
Quiz based on the above presentation (Group
Shorekeepers of Mumbai
Mangroves guard our
ensure that the sea
upon the land
Mangroves are trees or shrubs that are
found at the interface between land
and sea. (coastal swamps, estuaries,
mud-flats, seashores, riverbanks,
intertidal regions of shallow bays and
They are only plants that could survive
in salt water & they have special roots
that allow them to inhabit at water
Mangrove ecosystem is a peculiar
habitat & the plant community of this
ecosystem is termed as "mangrove
What makes them unique?
Ability to cope with salt through transpiration
Breathing pop up roots allows the plant to remain afloat
Did you know?
Mangroves supply nutrients to adjacent coral reef and
sea grass communities, sustaining these habitats’
primary production and general health.
Where all they are found?
Mangroves are found practically in almost all the continents,
excepting Europe, the Arctic and Antarctic. The richest mangrove
communities occur in tropical and sub-tropical areas.
India has around 7% of the world's total area of mangroves.
Did you know?
The best luxuriant patches of mangroves are found in Asia, especially in India and
Bangladesh - the Sunderbans are the largest mangrove forest in the world both in
size as well as biodiversity
History of Greater Mumbai
Mumbai was earlier seven islands
during 1670. However, the
Britisher’s, deforested the fringing
mangroves and reclaimed these
islands into one continuous
landmass. Since then the
increasing development and
population pressure are taking the
toll of mangrove land. During
these process a few mangrove
patches are still left in the heart of
the city, which proves that today's
megacity had a luxuriant past of
Mangroves areas in
In the early nineties, perhaps over
37 sq. km. of mangroves existed in
Today major mangroves are seen
today in Greater Mumbai along the
• Vasai Creek
• Thane Creek
• Manori and Malad
• Mahim - Bandra
• Mumbra – Diva
• Bhandup 12
Lets explore Mangrove Forests
Around 15 species of true
mangroves are found in
Mumbai. However data about
10 species is available.
Mangroves are home to
several species insects,
reptiles, birds, and mammals
like crocodiles, waders, deer,
monkeys, and honeybees.
Many animals find shelter
either in the roots or
branches of mangroves.
Mangroves Zones on the Shores
1. Front mangroves (Proximal Zone): This zone is towards water front. Main
species with these features are Rhizophora apiculata and Rhizophora
mucronata. On rocky and coral reef substrata, Avicennia spp, Sonneratia sp.
Caseolaris sp., are also found. Both Avicennia and Sonneratia produce
2. Mid mangroves (Middle Zones): Ceriops sp. and Bruguiera sp.are found in
this region which develop a strong hold fast in the form of knee roots or bent
roots as a special adoption for supporting the erect bole.
3. Back mangroves (Distal Zone): Towards island area mangroves like
Excoecaris agallocha, Heritiera littoralis and Xylocarnus spp occur. Both Heritiera
sp.and Xylocarpus sp.produce buttress roots.
Top 10 Mangroves of Greater
TOP TEN MUMBAI MANGROVES
1.Grey Mangrove: The coloniser
A gregarious species seen in
large stretches along the
estuarine region and creeks.
This is the first among
mangrove species to establish
itself in new habitats.
Commonest on west coast of
India and in Mumbai.
Source of fuel, timber, pickle,
cattle feed, tannin.
Used as abortive, on fish bites
and wounds . 16
2. Red Mangrove: Walking Roots
Mainly seen along sheltered
estuaries and creeks.
Source of firewood, charcoal,
fodder, mosquito repellent,
cure for diabetes, dysentery,
Identified by prominent prop
roots and pointed leaf apex
Fewer in Mumbai
3.White Mangrove: Rebounder
24% decline in mangrove
area within this species
range since 1980.
However, it has a high
rejuvenation rate, and is
often one of the first
species to return after
removal of mangrove
Identified by knee roots
4. Mangrove Apple: Versatile
7% decline in mangrove area
within this species range since
1980. It is a fast-growing
species but has low seed
Prominent knee roots
Grows in unstable conditions,
preferred for forestation
5.River Mangrove- Honey provider
21% decline in mangrove
area within this species
range since 1980.
On the verge of entering
the threatened category
Grows in less saline area
Few in Mumbai.
6.Back Mangrove : The Blinding Tree
21% decline in mangrove area
within this species range
since 1980. However, this
species is able to grow
quickly and colonize
Sea level rise is a major
threat, especially to back
mangroves that have no area
in which to expand.
Some of the plants that
grow within or in the
of mangrove wetlands.
They are tolerant to mild
level of salinity
They lack aerial roots
7. Meswak- The toothbrush Tree
Young stems of 3 to 5 mm
are used as toothbrushes. A
toothstick is also said to
relieve toothache and gum
disease, and the leaves are
used as a mouthwash and
for tooth and gum problems
Fruits are edible
associate in Mumbai
8. Sea Holly : Joint Pain
The species is decreasing
with destruction of
mangrove habitats but
there are no formal
studies on species
Grows in fresh & saline
Used in Ayurvedic
medicines to treat joint
9. Common Night Glory: Night Bloomer
Flowers bloom in
Leaves are used in
Tender shoots and
leaves eaten as
10. Sea Purslane: The vegetable plant
A perennial herb found on
the sea coasts.
Flowers are pink or purple
and opens for only a few
hours each day.
These plants are known to
help build dunes by
catching sand in between
stems and leaves.
Top Ten Magrove Animals
A large variety of fishes, molluscs, prawns, and crabs are totally
dependent on the mangrove ecosystem.
Deep sea fishes are known to use the habitat for breeding and rearing
their juveniles in the food-rich and safe shelters of mangroves.
Borivli-Dahisar Link Road: The
illegal construction and parking of
private vehicles and tourist buses
have taken a toll on the green cover
along the Borivli-Dahisar Link Road.
Even this stretch was marred by
similar problems — illegal dumping
and rampant construction in the
CRZ. Surprisingly, all houses
constructed on the mangrove land
had electricity and water supply.
Dharma Nagar (Borivli West)
Despite falling under CRZ, a paver
block manufacturing unit was set up
on mangrove land.
Illegal dumping of debris
in Nerul, Ghansoli and
area near NRI complex
Mumbai Deluge- An eye opener
26 July floods & Mithi river
Monsoon floods in Maharashtra in 2005 killed
nearly 1,000 people in Mumbai alone. This
could have been avoided or the impact could
have been reduced if the floodplains and
mangroves were not destroyed and Mithi
River’s natural drainage system had not been
repeatedly diverted and blocked.
On the other hand, Navi Mumbai did not
suffer any flooding due to good mangrove
cover and presence of retention ponds along
Mangrove cell was formed in 2012
Established a mangrove nursery
in Vasai Creek and planted
250,000 mangrove saplings in
five locations in the city.
They aim to provide mangroves
for recreational purposes
(create promenades and
boardwalks around the edges of
They are developing a mangrove
park on Waghivli island which
was later shifted on an open plot
near Khandeshwar railway
Other NGOs working for
Dahisar , New Link Road Residence Association
Conservation Action Trust
Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS)
Mangrove Society of India
Mangrove and Marine Biodiversity Conservation
How can you Help
Report cutting of mangroves to your nearest police
Reduce Reuse Recycle
Don't buy flats on reclaimed area
Participate in Mangrove plantation drives
Engage in clean up drives
Report any clearing of mangroves
in your area
Participate in mangrove walks