Dr Snehal S Donde is an eminent academician, researcher and administrator associated with Mumbai University. She has studied chronic effect of crude oil on marine clam for Ph.D. Presently she is pursuing PhD in Management Studies from Mumbai University. She is recognized PhD Guide for Education management and Zoology from various Universities and 12 students are pursuing research work under her able guidance. She has published more than 28 papers and four books in journals and books of international repute. She has successfully completed various projects on Bhatsa river biodiversity and regularly conducts Nature Conservation awareness programmes involving local public and students.
The Bhatsa river at Khadavli, Kalyan Taluka in Maharashtra State provide water supply to Mumbai metropolitan region and the spot is famous among picnickers. However unchecked and unaccountable developments are affecting overall decline in biodiversity of Bhatsa river as a result of human activity. Due to lack of repository there is no record of extinct and new addition of species variety. Therefore to set up a baseline for monitoring of Bhatsa riverine ecosystem for conservation of bio-resources, the present study was undertaken. The main objective was to encourage ecosystem planning on a regional basis. The study was aimed to determine the abundance and distribution of planktons, fish and bivalve biota, access current damage and potential threat from various sources on habitat loss and create inventory. Physico-chemical assessment of water samples collected was done as per APHA and species collection was recorded by intercept method. The spatial and temporal studies revealed deteriorating health of Bhatsa riverine ecosystem. Lack of knowledge and awareness among local public about relevance of biodiversity was observed as major reason of misuse and exploitation. Hence public awareness activities were also organized parallel to sampling. The present study was part of project sponsored by Ministry of Environment and Forest, Government of India and University of Mumbai. This kind of study would address many issues as it would bring better awareness towards keeping environment clean for sustainable development and positive change to tackle global warming and drastic climate change.