The Maldives is the lowest-lying country in the world, lying an average of just 1.5 meters (4 feet, 11 inches) above sea level. The Maldives often appears on lists of places to visit before they vanish and rising sea levels have already forced entire populations to relocate to other islands over the last two decades. Anantara Kihavah Villas, located on the Baa Atoll which was declared a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve in 2011, is ensuring countless magical beach vacations just like Tim and I had are part of the future through their Coral Adoption Program.
Coral reefs protect the pristine white beaches surrounding Kihavah Huravalhi Island and play host to an array of Maldivian reef fish, lobsters, and other bizarre looking creatures. Coral is a sensitive organism though, vulnerable to extreme weather and sudden environmental changes. Coral is so sensitive that when El Niño raised sea temperatures by 4°C in 1998, 90% of shallow coral reef was lost in the Maldives. Anantara Kihavah Villas’ Coral Adoption Program works to rebuild and replant the reef that was lost.
During the construction of Anantara Kihavah Villas in November 2010, the resident marine biologist created coral gardens by attaching coral to iron frames in the middle of the over water pool villas’ lagoon. When the coral garden is finished, it will resemble an “A”, to stand for Anantara, of course!
Guests of Anantara Kihavah Villas can contribute to the on-going reef conservation effort in the Baa Atoll by adopting a coral frame from the resort’s website. The resident marine biologist helps guests transplant their very own coral onto the iron frames in the lagoon and you can even monitor the growth of your coral on the website. Photos are taken by the resident marine biologist every three months.
I put on my flippers and mask to take my own peek at the coral garden in the lagoon. The coral frames provide an easy snorkeling trail and fish have already begun to return to the reef. I even saw stingrays and black tip reef sharks in the lagoon!
By purchasing a small frame at $100, a medium frame at $200, or a large frame at $400, you can help save our oceans!