Roller coast-er ride

Updated: Feb 06, 2020, 09:42 IST | Shunashir Sen | Mumbai

A festival held in association with mid-day will raise awareness about Mumbai's marine life that we ought to save and celebrate

Mumbai is a city of geographical dichotomy. On one hand, it's an urban jungle where matchbox buildings stand cheek by jowl. And on the other, it has a 149-km coastline that opens out into the vast waters of the Arabian Sea. But we are so caught up that we tend to forget about the diverse range of marine life in our vicinity. That's why a festival called Coastwise returns for its second edition this weekend, to highlight the near-invisible flora and fauna that call the city's beaches home.

Three organisations — Mangrove Foundation, Marine Life of Mumbai and WWF-India — have joined hands to host it. The idea is to put together events aimed at showcasing the marine ecosystem. Caroline Pais, education officer at WWF-India, tells us, "Our aim is to instill a sense of pride in people about our biodiversity. We want them to understand how lucky we are that even though Mumbai is concretised, we have a wealth of natural life that we need to preserve."
Here are four activities from the festival that you can attend.

On February 8 to 19 at different spots in the city
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Roller coast-er ride

1. Fishy business: Take a trip to Sassoon Dock, a landing site for the fish that's caught off Mumbai's coastline. Learn more about the different species, including ones that don't make it to the market since they aren't edible; the methods that fishermen employ to catch them; and ways to be more ecologically responsible when it comes to our consumption patterns.

On February 9, 8 am
At Sassoon Dock, Azad Nagar, Colaba.

Roller coast-er ride

2. For shore: The area of a beach that's exposed during low tide is called the inter-tidal zone. Explore the same at Juhu to discover creatures like hermit crabs, and sea animals like zoanthids and anemone at Napean Sea Road. An expert will guide you, helping discover a new side to these places.

On February 9, 4 pm
Meeting point Granth Bookstore, Juhu Tara Road; Priyadarshini Park, Napean Sea Road.

Roller coast-er ride

3 Winging it: The Coastal and Marine Biodiversity Centre in Airoli has a rich ecosystem of mangroves. Take a boat ride on the Thane Creek to spot a wide variety of avian life, including flamingos, gulls and terns. There are options for both half-day and full-day passes. The latter will give you access to an art workshop too.

On February 15, 11 am
At Coastal and Marine Biodiversity Centre, Diva Nagar Road, Airoli, Navi Mumbai.

Roller coast-er ride

4. Stripped bare: Rohan Chakravarty is a cartoonist whose work highlights the need to save the environment. His blog Green Humour tackles ecologically sensitive subjects in a light-hearted manner. Attend a workshop where he will teach you the art of creating comic strips on environmental issues.

On February 19, 10 am
At Nehru Centre Art Gallery, Lotus Colony, Worli.

Take part and win

1) Which edition of Coastwise is this?
2) What does the phrase "inter-tidal zone" denote?
3) Name a type of crab that you'd find on a sandy beach like Juhu Chowpatty?
4) What is the length of Mumbai's coastline?
5) Where is the Coastal and Biodiversity Centre in Mumbai located?

The first 21 correct entries will win a gift voucher each for 4-time free entry to the BNHS Conservation Education Centre, Goregaon East. Send your entries to

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