Some aspects of integrated coastal zone management in India
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The coastal zone which lies roughly between the seaward margin of the continental shelves (to a depth of about 200 m) and the inland limits of the coastal plains (to a similar height of 100 m in altitude) encompasses the areas of highest biological productivity and diversity on earth. Coastal areas normally support the wide diversity of highly productive habitats like sand dune vegetation, mudflats, mangroves, corals, marine algae and seagrasses. In addition to this the planktonic population of phyto- and zooplankton also contribute to the total productivity of the coastal zone. All these biological systems contribute directly or indirectly to the world's production of fish, crustaceans as well as molluscs. Moreover most of the agriculture production is concentrated in the coastal plains and estuarine deltas. Recently, the coastal zone has also experienced a rapid growth of industries and also the related problems. All these activities are not properly planned and regulated inspite of various laws available. This trend has created tremendous pressures and the ecological balance is disturbing. There are various factors which are degrading the coastal waters. The Integrated Coastal Management is relatively a recent concept, which involves multidisciplinary approach. It is a dynamic process in which a coordinated strategy is developed and implemented for the allocation of environmental, socio-economic and manpower resources to achieve the sustainable development and use of coastal zone.
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