With rapid urbanization and increasingly rising sea levels due to climate change, the sensitive mangrove forests in India are under a constant threat. This calls for immediate action and effective measures to save the sensitive ecosystem of the forests. One such ingenious method has been used in the Bhitarkanika wetlands of Odisha to support the mangrove forests. A video shared by IFS officer Susanta Nanda on Twitter shows the unique technique that has been adopted in a bid to bolster mangrove forest growth in the Bhitarkanika region.
The water from creeks in Bhitarkanika are being diverted to gaps in mangroves through fish bone shaped channels, so that the saline barren land becomes fertile to support planted mangrove species.The shape allows the water to reach every nook and corner of the area.
VC: J D Pati pic.twitter.com/y197bH7XAH
— Susanta Nanda IFS (@susantananda3) July 5, 2022
Explaining the technique, the officer wrote “The water from creeks in Bhitarkanika are being diverted to gaps in mangroves through fish bone shaped channels, so that the saline barren land becomes fertile to support planted mangrove species.” He added that this method allows the water to reach every corner of the land and ensures proper water supply for the mangroves.
In the clip, the Bhitarkanika wetland area is seen with a detailed pattern of channels that resembles the skeletal structure of a fish. With an aerial view of the region, it is seen that the fishbone channels are connected to the creek and help transport water to the target site.
Bhitarkanika is the second largest mangrove forest in India and the wetland is home to a variety of flora and fauna. The mangroves are also one of the Ramsar Sites and have been designated as internationally important wetland.
The fishbone technique is said to be effective in irrigating barren land and reviving mangrove forests through channels. The method has shown results in reviving the mangrove forest in the Krishna Wildlife Sanctuary (KWS) in Andhra Pradesh. The feeder channel was indirectly connected to the Krishna River’s irrigation canal and water was drawn through it to the dry soil region. This helps reduce the salinity of the soil and growing mangrove plants in it, reported The Hindu.