Think of the Maldives and beautiful white-sand beaches and warm, turquoise-blue seas to explore may spring to mind. However, over recent years, the Maldives’ underwater world as a whole has weathered a few storms and natural disasters and now needs help be restored. Lending their full support, The Beach House at Iruveli Maldives has established a coral reef restoration programme to ensure their lagoon and surrounding islands receives the regeneration it needs to remain full of interesting and diverse marine life, so key to the planet’s eco-system.
‘Adopt a Coral Reef’ aims at protecting and developing the large coral population around the resort and guests are given the opportunity to actively participate in the making of the coral frame and leave a positive footprint in the Maldives by sponsoring a reef. These fragile and endangered coral reefs act as key feeding and breeding grounds for a myriad of marine life and provide essential shoreline protection.
The Beach House at Iruveli Maldives enlists the services of a resident marine biologist, Alexia Pihier, who explains, “The lagoon surrounding the resort offers diverse marine life including baby and adult reef fish, rays, turtles and reef sharks. Coral reefs are recovering from the previous El Niño quasiperiodic climate patterns whose unusually long periods of high water temperatures caused the death of a large part of the reef. Fortunately, we can now observe juvenile coral colonies around the resort’s lagoon and are inviting guests to participate in our coral reef restoration programme by installing handmade coral frames that offer artificial habitats for many marine organisms.”
Alexia has produced a booklet entitled ‘Marine Life at The Beach House at Iruveli Maldives’, which guests receive when they arrive. It details photographs and information on the different types of marine life to be seen and the best snorkelling sites in the resort’s lagoon.
The not-for-profit ‘Adopt a Coral Reef’ programme costs US$150 per frame and includes a talk on coral life, the reef and how important it is to the world’s eco-system. Participants are shown the frame, which is coated with sand and natural glue and has coral fragments attached to it. Once placed in the sea, the frame is inspected at regular intervals to see how the coral is growing and progress updates and photographs can be emailed to guests who were involved in its creation. Kids can also participate for a reduced cost of US$40 per child (minimum of four children) which can be organised as part of the kids’ club programme.
The Beach House at Iruveli Maldives comprises 83 beautifully designed thatched villas, suites and pavilions, each with a private pool and villa host. Three fine dining restaurants boast a gastronomic experience rich in culinary diversity and include a unique dining opportunity in an underground wine cellar, housing one of the most extensive collections of fine vintages in the Indian Ocean. Facilities include an extensive spa, five-star PADI dive centre, 18-hole golf simulator, fitness centre, extensive kids’ club and three swimming pools.