The project called “A Tide Turns” is a community science initiative by Tata Institute of Social Sciences in partnership with local NGOs Social Need Education and Human Awareness (SNEHA) and Legal Aid to Women (LAW) Trust that has helped turn more than 120 people from local fishing communities into climate scientists who now use cheap do-it-yourself equipment and elementary maths to map, document and track changes in the shoreline by generating scientifically accurate data. It can be an effective tool to help in timely decisions to safeguard the ecosystem, livelihoods and to make the coast healthier and more resilient.
Using cost-effective materials, volunteers use various scientific methods such as beach profiling, sand grain analysing and photographic evidences to arrive at accurate results.
“This is a long-term coastal profiling project which we began a year ago and has helped in generating baseline data which was not available so far. With regular monitoring over the next few years, it will yield information such as what are the impacts on beaches, how the shoreline is changing, its biodiversity, impacts of development projects and constructions and also on actions that need to be taken to stabilize eroding beaches,” said Vivek Coelho, fellow from TISS who is the brain behind this project. “It will generate evidence to ensure informed decision-making in order to protect the coasts. And such rigorous monitoring is only possible if we involve local communities.”