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Marine Places

Pichavaram Mangrove Wetland

The Pichavaram Mangrove Wetland lies on a delta between the Vellar and Coleroon estuaries in southeastern India. It consists of a number of small and large mangrove-covered islets intersected by numerous channels and creeks. Fishing villages, croplands, and aquaculture ponds surround the area. This small, carefully preserved wetland is thought to have saved many lives during the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. When the tsunami struck, six villages that were physically protected by the mangroves incurred no damage, while other, unprotected villages were totally devastated. The wetland may have reduced the tsunami’s impact partly by slowing the onward rush of the sea through frictional effects and partly by absorbing water into its numerous canals and creeks.

  • Indian Ocean North
  • Principal Species Gray, milky, stilted, small-fruited orange, and yellow mangroves
  • Area 5 square miles (12 square km)
  • Location South of Chennai (Madras), Tamil Nadu, southeastern India
Pichavaram Mangrove Wetland habitat mapzoom image