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Salient features of West Bengal coastal ecosystem and effective management of environment

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The thickly populated coastal region of West Bengal has a unique combination of valuable mineral resources blanketed by mainly medium to fine grained sands, silts and clays and is the focal area for rapid development of societal structure. A number of multi mineral placer deposits existing in the Bakkhali, Sagar and Digha coastal belt of West Bengal are being used up rapidly. There is an urgent need for exploration of mineral resources in these areas. Economic heavy minerals in this coastal area include ilmenite, rutile, magnetite, leucoxene, zircon, monazite, sillimanite and garnet. All these resources are renewable and attention should be given to explore and exploit these deposits which are often available in large quantity. A tremendous resource crunch is inevitable due to constant exploitation of land based resources and thus there is an urgent need to look for resources in the coastal zone and offshore areas. Important processes are energy flows, sunlight, water flow, recycling, temperature, dissolved gas, presence of chemicals, availability of nutrients. The salinity, water condition and visual appearance of the basin is also important. Attention should be paid to develop indigenous technology for exploration and development. The cost effectiveness of tapping the resources should be kept in mind, Monitoring of environmental parameters viz. air, water, soil, noise, vibration, flora, fauna is essential. Analyses and preservation of biodiversity is necessary. The administrative area for management must be a coupled unit of coastal water basins and adjacent shorelines. The objectives of a Coastal Zone Management Programme for the state should be kept in mind to develop a national policy and legislation and ensure integrated approaches to assess and evaluate a sustainable development policy, some of the local and special management plans should be carefully developed. The impact of socioeconomic environment considering the financial, technological and features in decision making should improve the proper planning. Resource utilization, coastal planning and management are critical issues. The existing and projected impacts for future must help the government to enforce decisions based on environmental impact assessment and improve proper planning.


Ecosystem, Environment, Fine grained sands, Resource utilization