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The Project

The coastal zone is important for location of industry, transport links, agriculture, fisheries, tourism and urban development. It is constantly changing due to erosion, accretion, and flooding, all of which threaten human use of the coast. An understanding of the way in which this system functions allows us to identify the impacts of development or management and to take action to mitigate such impacts. It acts as a self-contained unit so that any development within the sediment cell will have a minimal impact on areas outside its boundaries. The findings of the study carried out by NCSCM delineated the West coast of India into 10 and east coast into 16 primary cells of varying coastal lengths. The 10 primary cells of West coast were further divided into 21 sub cells and 16 primary cells of the east coast were divided into 39 sub cells. Most of the cell boundaries along the west coast were bounded by hard coastal headlands while major rivers formed most of the cell boundaries along the east coast. Cell boundaries along the east coast are located at the mouths of major rivers indicating the major sources of sediments and its large scale movement along this coast.

Coastal Sediment Cell


To demarcate and map the coastal sediment cells for the entire coast of India for better management and conservation of beaches and associated coastal landmass.


  • To delineate primary sediment cells along the East and West coasts of India

  • To delineate sediment sub cells within the primary cells

  • To delineate management units for sustainable coastal management

Figure :    Primary sediment cells along the coast of India


  • The sediment cell, once defined, provides the basis for a behavioral model, which, in essence, describes how the coast works within the cell boundaries.
  • This in turn makes it possible to develop practical measures for the coast that will deliver objectives of the community with minimum interruption of natural processes, in other words sustainable development
  • These practical measures are set out in the Shoreline Management Plan
  • It is advisable to implement any anti erosion strategy into a broader perspective
  • With sediment cells as a base, ICZM Plan is prepared, setting out the collaborative, integrated objectives of all stakeholders, communities and managers and the means of its delivery
  • Within this ICZM Plan nests the Shoreline Management Plan as a vital but subsidiary unit, designed to deliver the objectives of ICZM in a sustainable manner