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Title: Environmental impact assessment: coastal components of proposed refurbishment Chaaya Lagoon Hakuraa Huraa, Meemu Atoll, Maldives
Authors: Sandcays
Keywords: Beach enhancement
Coral mining
Coastal dynamics
Coastal environment
Marine environment
Mitigation measures
Environmental monitoring
Environmental impact assessments
Issue Date: 1-Jun-2010
Citation: Sandcays. (2010). Environmental impact assessment: coastal components of proposed refurbishment Chaaya Lagoon Hakuraa Huraa, Meemu Atoll, Maldives. Male': Maldives
Abstract: This report addresses the environmental concerns of the proposed coastal components of the refurbishment planned for 2010 for Chaaya Lagoon Hakuraa Huraa, Meemu Atoll. The primary objective of the project is to enhance the natural environmental of Hakuraa and to improve the services offered to guests thereby minimizing operational and environmental costs. As such the project encompasses modifications to the existing jetty head to incorporate a fixed seaplane platform that would bring an end to dhoni transfers from existing floating platform, deepening of the existing reef entrance channel so that it can be used by supply and other dhonis saving time and fuel and providing beach on the southside shoreline where there is no beach. Hence, different options for the proposed project, especially the beach enhancement component have been evaluated and the most practicable options not entailing excessive costs have been recommended. Since the resort is already closed for renovation, it may not be possible to get all the proposed activities done in time for reopening. Therefore, the beach enhancement and entrance channel deepening may have to be put off. Hakuraa is surrounded by a large expanse of lagoon. Therefore, only the proposed channel deepening activity is expected to impact the coral reef. The impact on the reef is not considerably large as the reef flat in the area has very low cover of live corals and the live corals on the reef slope is expected to be cleared of sediment within a short period by the current in the area. However, it would be useful to monitor such changes. It has also been recommended to transplant any coral that may be directly impacted and may not recover from the effects of sedimentation. In fact, all proposed activities would have short term sedimentation impacts, with the water quality returning to normal within weeks. The overall environmental impacts of the project have been assessed using appropriate matrices and the results indicated that the proposed project had net positive impact. That is, the project has no major adverse impacts on the environment as far as current knowledge is concerned. Given that the project has major socio-economic benefits and some environmental benefits, it is recommended to allow the project to proceed as proposed. However, alternative analysis for the coastal protection or beach enhancement component indicates that there is a strong argument for added coastal protection. It has, therefore, been recommended to consider headland revetments using geotextile containers in order to retain the sand that has been planned to be added to the southside shore. Other feasible alternatives also have been considered. Environmental monitoring recommended for the project includes the monitoring of the shorelines of Hakuraa and neighbouring island and water quality and drogue studies of the coastal area for three years from the onset of the proposed project implementation. Annual monitoring reports have to be submitted over the monitoring period.
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