Varuna, the God of water, is one of the most revered deities in Rig Veda. He occupies such an important position that the ancient sages have dedicated so many verses to Him.  This is also due to the fact that 71% of the surface of the globe is engulfed with ocean which is a home to million of aquatic species most of whose behavior is yet to be recorded completely.  It has remained a mystery to the mankind and also will continue to be so in future.  The scientific community all over the globe has kept up its spirit to go into details of the marine environment thus unraveling the mystery.   Before the mystery being unraveled, the coastal domain of this vast water body has been the focus of discussion due to its vary nature of sensitive existence.  The coastal zone, comprising a variety of highly dynamic and sensitive ecosystems such as lakes, lagoons, estuaries, bays, creeks, deltas etc. serve as a storehouse of various living and nonliving resources.  This area in general is thickly populated and it is estimated that around 75% of the total human population have their dwellings along the coast.  The population explosion along the coastline is a matter of great concern to all of us.  The steady increase in the polluting activities of man all along the coastal zone has led to significant ecological changes threatening the very existence of fragile coastal habitats.  At this crucial juncture, efforts have to be initiated towards assessing the point up to, which the ecology has been polluted, and also devising ways to restore status quo with ample ways to manage the existing resources.  In this direction, Department of Ocean Development (DOD) has pressed the right button in establishing an autonomous cell under Berhampur University to look after such important issues, which rightly deals with ecological aspects along the East Coast of India.

             The Department of Ocean Development (DOD), Government of India on January 15, 1998 established an autonomous cell- Ocean Science & Technology Cell (OSTC) on Marine Coastal Ecology by signing an MOU with Berhampur University for promotion and implementation of advanced studies and research on marine coastal ecology. The OST Cell has started functioning  inside the premises of Berhampur University since then





   To encourage and promote the potential of research in frontier areas of the designated field through projects, operative at the Cell and generating projects after peer review at several stages.

*   Manpower development programme in various forms, such as: research projects,  conducting workshops, seminars, symposia, short  term training programs etc. Establishment of course curricula and database for coastal ecology for  dissemination of information in identified thrust areas.

*   Promotion and linkage of activities of OSTC, Berhampur University with other  research institutions/industries in and outside the country for exchange of ideas/  knowledge through collaborative planning.

*    Human resources development and socio-economic upliftment of people of the  coastal areas through such studies and research, and many such other important functions.