Taking our Maldives project to a new dimension
With the project season 2020/21 coming to an end, our arrival in the Maldives is a synonym of an exciting event since our biggest coral project just evolved into the creation of our first marine education & research center.
Three years ago…
The first time we came to the Maadhunifaru lagoon located in the north of Kaafu atoll, we found ourselves surrounded by three sandy islands plus a fourth one in the making. Coralive’s initial project here was to create a coral nursery consisting of 16 table structures supported by the Mineral Accretion Technology (MAT) that will be home to corals of opportunity collected from the area. The process of dredging and accumulating sand to create the additional island modified the underwater topography of the lagoon, therefore the goal was to collect all coral colonies before they face certain death and let them grow and propagate at their new home. This first phase took us three months.
We are back at Maadhunifaru lagoon, now consisting of six islands, with our coral nursery expanding and serving the coral project that currently covers 8000m2. This time, instead of expanding the coral work to an even larger area, we will first initiate the construction of our new marine education & research center.
Before we present you with more details, here are the topics and issues our center will be focusing on:
– Coral reef nursery
– Mangrove nursery
– Clown fish, clam and seahorse nursery
– Coral wetlab
– Turtle rescue center
– Waste management and education
– Dive training
The team is currently working hard on creating the concept, design and how to implement it so the marine education & research center can host trainees, volunteers, interns and many visitors.
The next two weeks…
First and foremost, we will move part of our nursery from its current location to the other side of the lagoon, since 65 of the coral tables are not ideally located. The water conditions are not optimal being too warm and lacking current throughout the whole year. All our efforts will go into transferring the about 10’000 coral fragments to close proximity of island #3 in the lagoon with the precious help of Hazim and Hiyaadh, two dive masters on-site supporting Coralive for years.
The research center is foreseen to open hopefully latest by mid 2022. In the meantime, we will be happy to count on some of our dedicated volunteers starting this new and promising adventure with us.