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dc.identifier.citationSandcays. (2012). Environmental impact assessment for the proposed coastal modifications Sheraton Full Moon Resort and Spa. Male': Maldivesen_US
dc.description.abstractThis report addresses the environmental concerns of the proposed sand pumping for beach nourishment and minor modifications and repairs to existing coastal protections structures in Sheraton Full Moon Resort and Spa, located on Furanafushi, North Malé Atoll. This resort, like several other resorts and inhabited islands across the Maldives, is subjected erosion and several coastal protection structures have been constructed. The resort has been undertaking a beach nourishment program for quite some time, which has been suspended temporarily for environmental clearance by the Tourism Ministry as structural modifications and unregulated beach enhancement have caused damages to the environment. Continuous beach nourishment, where it is feasible due to natural setting, is the most optimistic and reliable means of beach nourishment. In Full Moon, continuous beach nourishment is quite feasible and has been proposed. In addition, almost the entire perimeter of the island shoreline has been protected by various structures including breakwater, seawall, groyne and revetments using various materials such as concrete, coral rubble and tetrapods. Some of these structures, especially the rubble mound breakwaters on the southern face of the island needs regular repair. Solutions are being sought everyday to protect the ocean villas on the eastern periphery from wave attack, so the tetrapod revetment behind the concrete seawall in the area needs constant improvements. Therefore, it is also proposed to consider sand pumping with minimal structural protection in order to improve the beaches as well as aesthetics of the coastal environment. The management will continue to undertake monitor the coastal changes so that decisions to modify the coastal zone is based on about a year’s data for hydrodynamic processes. Sand pumping is a feasible and less environmentally damaging option than other shore protection options given that the coral reef areas are at a considerable distance from the beach. It is also a more aesthetically acceptable option. Sand pumping has very low negative environmental impact but considerably improves the appeal and aesthetics of the resort thereby increasing tourist satisfaction. Sand pumping is also necessary in order to fill eroded areas even if structural protection is provided. The negative impacts to environment include loss of habitats for some bottom dwelling organisms in the nearshore environment (mud feeding, filter feeding and juvenile fish etc). However, this is not a significant ecosystem in the Maldives, especially in Furanafushi the impact significance is almost negligible. Also, the impact from sedimentation and sediment re-suspension is low due to good flow of currents in the area. The same impact on the borrow areas may be slightly more given slightly higher diversity and abundance of organisms in those areas. However, even this is low in the case of Furanafushi given that the sand borrow areas will be from the already dredged areas as well as naturally existing deep lagoon with sandy bottom. Also, the impact significance of siltation or sedimentation is low with almost negligible impact on the reef. The same applies to small modifications or repairs to the existing coastal structures. The positive impacts of resuming beach nourishment will be that it will help to protect coastal properties (e.g. guest rooms) and other amenities, particularly on the southern side and part of the northern side, where beach is required for tourists. Similarly, protecting the ocean villas on the east would help to bring an end to guest complaints and improve guest satisfaction. Some modifications to existing groyne field on the north may help to retain beach for longer and minimize the frequency of beach nourishment. Possible improvements to the existing breakwaters including the option of gradually changing the coral rubble to rock boulders, for instance, would also help to improve the environmental outlook of the resort and improve beach erosion problems. The overall environmental impacts of the project assessed using appropriate matrices, professional experience/judgement and the results obtained on existing situation of Sheraton Full Moon Resort and Spa indicated that the proposed project has net positive impacts compared to overall negative environmental impacts. Given that the project has major socioeconomic benefits although there would be some minor negative environmental impacts, it is recommended to allow the project to proceed as proposed. Environmental monitoring recommended for the project includes the monitoring of the shorelines and beach profiles at project site before, during and after the works. Marine water quality including turbidity, salinity, conductivity, pH, dissolved oxygen and total suspended solids need to be monitored during the sand pumping operation and every three months thereafter. Annual monitoring reports have to be submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency during the monitoring period. Regular monitoring is important because the environmental clearance that will be given after two years from the initial approval would be given based on regular environmental monitoring records of the past two years.en_US
dc.subjectLegislative and regulatory considerationen_US
dc.subjectExisting environmenten_US
dc.subjectStakeholder consultationsen_US
dc.subjectImpacts and mitigation measuresen_US
dc.subjectEnvironmental monitoringen_US
dc.titleEnvironmental impact assessment for the proposed coastal modifications Sheraton Full Moon Resort and Spaen_US
dc.typeTechnical Reporten_US
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