When I first read about this program, I thought it sounded very similar to the one I blogged about last week called Adopt-a-Coral as it shares a number of similar features.
Waldorf Astoria Maldives has partnered with Seamarc, a Maldives marine consultancy firm. According to their website, they have been involved in a number of marine conservancy projects that include Reef Ball, erosion control, environmental impact assessments, and the like. In this particular instance, Seamarc will be using a system they developed called “coral trays” for the transplantation project with the Waldorf Astoria. According to Seamarc, their trays “improve the resistance to predation and avoid sedimentation, while providing a suitable substrate for the [coral] fragments.” Example photos of their “coral trays” can be seen above.
For $150, guests can select and transplant a small portion of coral reef in the area surrounding the resort. The whole process takes one hour, and involves selecting a plot of living but damaged or threatened coral that has been harvested by Seamarc, attaching the plot to a lightweight frame structure, and transplanting it in the resort’s lagoon. Guests can then monitor the growth and progress of their coral reef plot through a dedicated website.
Whether the Waldorf Astoria Maldives is doing this strictly for altruistic or self-indulgent reasons, it is definitely a step in the right direction.