Beach House Maldives, the Waldorf Astoria Collection has launched a new environmental initiative to preserve the coral of Manafaru Island’s Haa Alifu atoll and educate guests about marine life at the resort. Working in conjunction with Seamarc, a Malé based marine consultancy, and headed up by newly appointed marine biologist Melanie Bon, the resort is dedicated to enhancing the precious Maldives sea life.
The Coral Project is aimed at developing the large coral population around the resort; particularly under the glass floors of the villas. Referred to as the ‘rainforests of the sea’, these fragile and extremely endangered coral reefs are among the most biodiverse ecosystems in the world; acting as key feeding and breeding grounds for a plethora of marine life, providing shore line protection and offering a viable barrier against the predicted sea level rises.
Seamarc’s unique propagation techniques; whereby broken or threatened corals are harvested, attached to portable Coral Trays and put back into the warm Maldivian waters, mean that branching corals grow faster, rapidly creating new and replenishing old habitats. The project also provides alternative employment to residents of nearby B. Fulhadhoo Island who build the structures.
Marine biologist Melanie Bon, joining Beach House Maldives from the Alfred Wegener Institute in Germany, has been appointed to monitor the project. With a wealth of research experience, including a Masters in International Studies in Aquatic Tropical Ecology from Bremen University, Germany, Melanie will provide valuable data for the Maldivian Marine Research Centre about the relatively untouched Haa Alifu atoll, as well as setting up fun and educational presentations for guests about the coral propagation and marine life at the resort; which includes manta rays, dolphins and whale sharks.
Guests at Beach House Maldives are also able to get involved by sponsoring a reef, with $100 (£67.50) covering the cost of construction and implementation of a coral tray. In return they will receive regular newsletters charting their reef’s progress with links to up-to-date photographs on the Beach House Maldives’ website.