Goa: It is not uncommon to find videos online of tourists or locals driving their vehicles on the state’s beaches. Sand dunes are geological deposits formed by the action of wind.These geomorphic features act as nature’s first line of defense from the forces of the ocean. This fact has been accepted globally.Sand dunes are extremely important because of their inherent properties; both by providing a barrier to inundation and by releasing sand during storm conditions to reduce wave action.Sand dunes act as sand banks to maintain the sedimentary and dynamic equilibrium of the dune beach ecosystem.
Many beach stretches are suddenly devoid of vegetation. In places where there is some greenery, visitors are often seen trampling it or discarding trash there.This sand dune ecosystem, so far neglected, is set to get a new lease of life in Goa. World Bank has approved a project proposed by the Goa state biodiversity board that will see India’s first sand dune parks and interpretation centres developed along select stretches.Around Rs 3 crore has been sanctioned to the state under the programme, and will see interventions like interpretation centres to educate locals and tourists on the importance of the sand dune ecosystem.
Bridges made of nature-friendly material will also be constructed to reduce trampling on sand dune vegetation. This is not all even nurseries of sand dune vegetation will be set up, which will enable its replantation on beach stretches where vegetation has gone extinct.Board member secretary Pradip Sarmokadam said that the Morjim and Galgibaga beaches, known for their turtle-nesting sites, are among the stretches that will get sand dune parks.The idea of parks to preserve sand dunes was first mooted by former NIO scientist and ex-member of the GSBB Antonio Mascarenhas, who will now act as principal investigator for the project, with Sarmokadam as co-investigator.
The News24 Goa