LIVING WATERS - A Marine Shore Walk

GreenLine’s Green Schools Campaign organised a Marine Shore Walk, Living Waters, for the Green Schools Campaign students on 3rd December 2022. The walk was conducted at Juhu Beach near Granth Book Store in Juhu, Santacruz when the tide was low. Two resource people, Akash Mhadgut and Shubham Hadkar, who are marine fauna experts led the students and their teachers and parents on this walk. GreenLine staff members; Ashwini Jadhav, Sandra Pereira, Keren Pereira and Zia Shaikh, were present for this walk to ensure order was maintained and support the resource people.

This guided walk was conducted with the sole aim to raise awareness about important marine species that reside along Mumbai’s coastline despite severe disturbances in the area. As the topic for the third session of GSC’s ‘Natural Re-sort’ campaign is Urban Greening and Biodiversity, we hoped for children to learn about such urban biodiversity that lives alongside humans in our coastal waters. This also helped the students gain an insight into the diversity of wildlife that reside in our waters and their vital role in our ecosystem.

Students were divided into two groups based on their schools. Shubham led group 1 and Akash group 2. During the excursion, the resource people picked up shells containing live or dead sea creatures like hermit crabs and snails, they also pointed out other species of crabs and worms such as decorator worms along the muddy parts of the beach. The students not only observed these fascinating creatures but also learned a great deal about them such as why they have earned their names, what taxonomic groups they belong to, what they do and eat and so on. Many students enthusiastically pointed out creatures they spotted in the tidal waters and also asked several questions to the resource people to clear doubts and learn more. Three regions of the shore were covered; sandy beach, muddy shore and rocky areas. The diverse substrates revealed several little creatures - most fascinating amongst them were the rock anemone and dead moon jellyfish. All sightings were recorded by each school in datasheets provided to them.

The tiring and fruitful walk came to an end on the pier near the rocky shores where the resource people were thanked by the Programme Coordinator and Programme Officer, Sandra and Keren, respectively. The outdoor event was a big success with 40 participants from 11 schools, most from Mumbai and one from Lonavala. The number of participants were restricted for this walk on request of the resource persons who advised that taking a smaller group would provide more successful sighting of the tiny marine creatures for all participants.