Maharashtra beaches have more plastic pollution than Karnataka and Goa: Study

Beaches in Maharashtra are more polluted with micro-plastics and macro-plastics, than those in Goa and Karnataka, according to a study

The highest abundance of macro and micro-plastic contaminants have been found on beaches in Maharashtra at the high tide line, as compared to Karnataka and Goa says a study conducted by the Goa-based National Institute of Oceanography (NIO). “Such a phenomenon of finding macro and micro-plastics in abundance on Maharashtra beaches, suggests that the contaminants are land-based, like (coming from) near-shore plastic industries, port areas, petroleum industries and high tourism activities,” it said.

The study, titled ‘Assessment of macro and micro plastics along the west coast of India: Abundance, distribution, polymer type and toxicity’, was published in the Netherlands-based journal ‘Chemosphere’. To prevent the marine environment from being affected by plastic contaminants, the researchers have suggested that the government frame policies to shun single-use plastic and increase its recycling, besides conducting community awareness programmes frequently. Plastics less than five millimetres in length are called ‘micro-plastics’ and the relatively larger particles, of more than 5 mm, are classified as ‘macro-plastics’. The Goa-based NIO is one of the constituent laboratories of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).


Over 80 tons of solid waste disposed of, in nation-wide beach cleaning drive

Over 80 tons of solid waste has been collected and disposed of so far, from nearly 50 beaches stretching over 100 kms in the country, as part of a week-long mass beach cleaning drive

November 15, 2019: To create awareness about the importance of coastal ecosystems, the Environment Ministry launched a week-long cleanliness-cum-awareness drive at 50 beaches under the ‘Swachh-Nirmal Tat Abhiyaan’ from November 11 to 17, 2019. “A total of 84 tons of solid waste has been collected and disposed of so far, during the drive,” the ministry said in a statement.

“The campaign entered its fourth leg today (November 14, 2019) with an overwhelming response of about 41,382 volunteers, including eco-club students, having actively participated till date in the drives in all 10 states/UTs, covering a total of 110 kilometres of beach stretches,” the ministry said.

The identified beaches are in 10 coastal states/union territories, namely Gujarat, Daman and Diu, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Andhra Pradesh and Odisha. Government officials, school/college students and several others are actively participating in the beach cleaning drive, a ministry official said.

Nodal teachers from eco-clubs are present at the sites during the cleanliness drive. Beach cleaning activities are done for two hours on a daily basis, at a minimum of one-kilometre stretch of the beach. The Ministry has given directions to all states/UTs, for disposing of the waste collected as per the Waste Management Rules, 2016.


NIO takes up study of soil erosion on Goa, Maharashtra beaches

The National Institute of Oceanography has announced that it will conduct a study on the cause and impact of coastal soil erosion in Maharashtra and Goa and recommend ways to control the deteriorating situation

May 16, 2019: A Goa-based research institute has taken up a detailed study, of the threat of soil erosion along the coast of the state and neighbouring Maharashtra. The Central Water Commission approached the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), with a proposal to study the environmental phenomenon of soil erosion, the institute’s director, Sunil Kumar Singh, revealed, on May 15, 2019. He said beaches along the coast of Goa and Maharashtra would be studied as part of the project.

“A study will be conducted, on the cause of coastal soil erosion, its current impact and to recommend ways to control the situation in the future,” Singh said. “As per a preliminary study, it has been observed that sediment supply has stopped, leading to erosion. As a result, the coastline is changing significantly,” he said.

See also: National Geographic Society to launch expedition to study plastic pollution in Ganga

In 2015, the Central Water Commission conducted a similar study, covering the entire Indian coastline, using satellite data of 1989-1991 and 2004-2006 time frames. The study then revealed that Goa had the highest percentage (52%) of stable shoreline, when compared to 11 other maritime states and union territories. Later, in 2017, the Goa government said nearly 10.39 kms of its coast, spread over 19 beaches, was facing a threat of erosion. The NIO is one of the constituent laboratories of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).

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