While coastal Tamil Nadu was being battered by the tsunami, a small cluster of hamlets in Peechavaram were protected by thick mangroves they had carefully cultivated between themselves and the violent sea. The example demonstrated the merits of a coastal plantation. It also posed a solution to indigenously managing the coast through locally appropriate measures.
SEEDS’ multilayered and multispecies coastal plantation (bio-shield project) began in 2008. It is being implemented along the coast of Light-House Panchayat in Thiruvallur district. Designed as a holistic approach, it protects the ecology of coastal communities.
The project includes innovative initiatives such as the setting up of a Village Knowledge Centre in the village Panchayat. Mobile telephony is also being used for more warnings. Voice messages on topics varying from wind or wave direction and height to the price of fish procurement in Chennai’s major markets are regularly sent out to the community.