In beautiful contrast to the uniformity of the buildings lining Marine Drive, a mix of sea sponges in several hues and forms grow on the rocks just below this familiar promenade. These sponges are animals, but like the buildings, they too are homes to a group of Marine Drive’s denizens – a variety of snails, sea slugs, crabs, brittle stars and other shore creatures.
Sponges, crabs, sea stars, octopuses and corals – that’s right, these and a few hundred other species of marine life live right here, in Mumbai’s intertidal zone.
Our coastline faces an ever increasing anthropogenic pressure. Between rising sea levels, poor water quality and reckless development, we must not forget that our shores aren’t just sand, rock and water but home to hundreds of species that call it home.
Photo: Sarang Naik