Grandma's Tales

March 16, 2007

The Elliot’s beach saga- 10 The final picture is here!

Filed under: Consumer caution,Games People Play,Society — Geeta Padmanabhan @ 9:46 pm

After our last meeting, all was quiet for a while on the beach front. I thought we had lost our case, but Mr. Satyanarayanan is made of sterner stuff. For a number of years he has taken it upon himself to keep the beach clean and safe for the users and he’s not going to give up his beloved sand and water to garish and unnecessary construction without a fight. His newsletter carries an article on the beach by Dr. Sultan Ismail, expert in ecology and vermiculture and an internationally known scientist.
Sultanbhai writes:
Shifting and blowing sand, wind borne salt spray, over-wash during storms and the intense heat of summer combine to create an extremely harsh and stressful environment to the organisms that live there. Organisms however survive on such beaches as several ecological zones exist here. Each such zone is composed of its own characteristic population of flora and fauna.
Large plants are however conspicuously absent as the shifting sands do not provide the stable substrate plants require. Occasionally algae will attach to seashells or other hard objects near such beaches. Phytoplankton is the most abundant plant life in this zone.
Many species of fish live in these near-shore waters or visit in search of food. A few animals are permanent residents of the beach. The one animal that does live here is
active mostly at night. 🙂

The shore crabs lead a strictly terrestrial life, only entering the water to wet their gills and to release their planktonic larvae. They spend the hottest part of the day in their burrows.
Left to nature, behind the beach, wind blown sand, through the action of beach plants, becomes dunes. However, in most instances the retreat of beaches has been accelerated by coastal development. On many instances in the world dunes were levelled to provide an unimpeded view of the ocean or construction of man-made
structures. The removal of dunes robs the beaches of important reserves of sand. Eventually storms damage or destroy beachfront property.
With all such lessons, man made development of beaches, especially the sandy
beaches should be carefully and meticulously planned. Any wrong planning, especially the construction of harbour “arms” can either rob or dump sand from a beach. As a kid I have played on the beautiful sandy beach of Puduchery, which today is robbed of the entire beauty.

We never tend to learn from many such mistakes. A beach is a beach
immaculately designed by the master architect “Nature”. Any man-made structures such as promenades, jogging lanes, and relaxing benches can be designed near the road and not on the beach.


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