This luxury Maldivian resort is desperately trying to restore coral reefs
CORAL REEFS are the most intricate ecosystem on the planet.
They provide shelter and food for millions of species and protect coastlines from the effects of wave action and tropical storms.
They also provide countries with millions of dollars in tourism as divers and snorkelers flock to witness their vibrancy.
One nation which relies on its abundance of coral reefs to draw in tourists is the Maldives, but climate change and intense global warming are having disastrous effects on these marine ecosystems.
The Maldives has 1,921 islands formed by organic coral grouped into 26 impressive coral atolls.
Only around 200 of the islands are inhabited with 80 of them used as tourist resorts, and one of these resorts is fighting back against dying coral – Baros Maldives.
Baros Maldives has continuously been voted one of the world’s top luxury resorts. The resort is known for its incredible service, stunning location, beautiful design across 75 overwater and beach villas, and its abundance of romantic settings.
But it’s doing a lot more than just taking brilliant care of its lucky guests. The resort has been continuously working to regenerate and rehabilitate its house reefs for the last decade.
And it will be intensifying its Coral Rehabilitation Program in response to the catastrophic bleaching of coral reefs around the world.
What has happened to the Maldives’ reefs
Bleaching of some Maldivian coral reefs was first reported in 2015 when sea temperatures dramatically rose due to El Nido weather patterns.
Water temperatures were as high as 32 degrees Celcius in some parts of the Baa Atoll and South Male Atoll. This led to almost 100 percent of its shallow coral reefs at a depth of five meters and above to suffer severe bleaching.
Beyond bleaching, some coral reefs mainly found in the North Male Atoll and Ari Atoll have been susceptible to critical outbreaks of crown of thorns starfish, cushion starfish, and coral-eating snails.
Plastic is also a major problem for coral as it can tear branches off in strong currents and leave the reef’s wounds open to disease.
How Baros Maldives is upping the reef preservation ante
In addition to more regular reef clean-ups by the resort’s staff, guest will also be involved with the restoration project and encouraged to build their own coral “frame” out of broken but living coral fragments.
These frames will be monitored by the center’s marine biologists for up to two years before being moved to deeper water to encourage the rejuvenation of surrounding corals.
Much like adopting a panda in China or an orangutan in Borneo, the resort staff will send pictures and updates of their the coral frames to their makers every two months.
A week’s stay at Baros Maldives costs a cool US$1,000 but it’s well worth every single penny because you can’t put a price on one of Mother Nature’s most beautifully meticulous creations.
We hear eating a private dinner on a sandbar while watching the sunset is a pretty exceptional experience too.