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Title: Initial environmental examination for a coral frame project
Authors: Systems Engineering and Marine Consulting
Keywords: Existing environment
Environmental impacts
Mitigation measures
Environmental monitoring
Environmental impact assessments
Coral propagation
Issue Date: Jul-2010
Citation: Systems Engineering and Marine Consulting. (2010). Initial environmental examination for a coral frame project. Male': Maldives
Abstract: The potential environmental impacts of the development of a coral propagation project on the island of H.A. Manafaru are assessed. Manafaru is leased to Beach House Maldives and is operated by the Waldorf Astoria collection of the Hilton group. The assessment exposes the solutions and preferred alternatives as well as mitigation measures to minimize any negative impacts whilst trying to derive the maximum positive impacts from the project. Manafaru has very little coral cover after being degraded by the 1998 bleaching event. As it is important to be proactive in reef restoration, the resort management wishes to enhance the value of the island by propagating corals using the coral frame technique. The frames will be installed near the water villas and sparsely on the house reef. Coral fragments will be attached by a marine biologist and will develop into full colonies within a few years. Coral fragments from the house reef will provide a small number of fragments and will heal rapidly. Preference will be given to damaged colonies. 136 frames of 1m2 will be initially deployed, and after the first batch, the existing frames will provide fragments for transplantation. The project will start as soon as approval is granted, and as this is a long term project, it could span several years before completion. The island of Manafaru is located inside the northernmost atoll of the Maldives, and is subject to high winds and warming waters, which may be a cause of low coral survival. As the island is located in the middle of the atoll, the waves reaching its shores are diffraction of swells, and wind waves. As the energy encountered are of second magnitude, and the reef does not form a proper crest, the waves reach the island with less obstruction than most areas. Sand displacement depends on the predominant influence during different monsoons, forming a bulging beach rather than a sand tip.
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