May 1, 2011 1:50:33 am
* Atlas maps corals along the states 1,660-km coastline
The states Environment and Forests Minister,Mangubhai Patel,released a Coral Atlas of Gujarat State and launched a website on the Integrated Coastal Zone Management Project (ICZMP) on Saturday.
The atlas,which maps corals along the states 1,660-km coastline,throws new light on the existence of corals in areas outside the Gulf of Kutch,notably off the coasts of Valsad and scattered areas off Saurashtra.
Prepared by officials from the Gujarat Ecology Commission (GEC) and Bhaskaracharya Institute for Space Application and Geo-Informatics (BISAG),the atlas was drawn up after maps were procured from the National Remote Sensing Agency (NRSA),Hyderabad. Image processing was then carried out,followed by ground verifications.
Officials cautioned the atlas is a baseline study and much more work could be done on the mapping of corals,especially those found far from the coasts and in the deep sea.
Nevertheless,they hoped it would serve as the first baseline data that could be used to plan coastal management under the ICZMP,which is funded by the World Bank.
The Atlas shows the existence of corals off the coasts of six districts as well as Diu.
The website geciczmp.com is dedicated to providing information regarding the implementation of the ICZMP. It contains information about the project and also directs users on how they can get involved.
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