Coastal zones are one of the most dynamic areas of our planet, being the meeting place of the land, sea and air. Owing to the existence of diverse and productive habitats important for human settlement, development and local subsistence, there has always been hectic human activity coupled with many developments. Of late, developments are taking place in such as manner that coastal areas are facing problems such a manner that coastal areas are facing problems such as erosion, siltation, overpopulation, salt water intrusion, flooding, pollution, devastation of natural habitats, etc. Rational development of coastal areas, which form the habitat of over 25% of India’s population, living within 60km of the shoreline, can only be achieved by understanding the various interactive processes that are operative in our coastal environment. The major issues which require immediate attention to prevent degradation of coastal areas include(i) monitoring long-term trends of dynamic changes, (ii) planning and implementing coastal protection, (iii) formulating proper criteria for the location of industries, aquaculture and recreational activities,(iv) monitoring and conversing critical environmental features, (V)assessing the impact of reclamation of land form the sea, sand mining, dredging and recreational activities on coastal ecology, (vi) managing renewable and non-renewable resources optimally, (vii) controlling pollution o f coastal and estuarine water, and (vii) improving navigation systems, etc. The major requisites for coastal zone monitoring and management are the availability of information on existing conditions and changes that may have occurred over the years. Satellite remote sensing has the advantage of providing multi spectral, synoptic information over large areas including inaccessible regions on a repetitive basis, which are essential requirements for studying the coastal zone on an integrated basis. Taking cognizance of this, several scientific studies have been carried out using satellite data, mainly obtained from Indian Remote Sensing Satellites. These have proved to be of immense use in identifying and monitoring various coastal zone features such as tidal wetlands, man-grove forests, salt marshes, tidal flats, coastal land forms, assessment of potential aquaculture sites, shoreline changes, dynamics of erosion/accretion, coastal land use/cover and inshore aspects like suspended sediment dynamics, coastal currents, near-shore bathymetry etc.
Source: Aqua Aquaria