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“Plant a Coral ” Coral reef restoration project

Maalu Maalu Resort & Spa: Brings Back Coral to Passekudah Reefs

Passekudah, Sri Lanka, 6th September 2013 – Maalu Maalu Resort & Spa together with the Wildlife Research and Conservation Trust (WRCT) launched a Coral Replanting Program on Passekudah Beach this morning. The ‘Plant a Coral Project’ intends to create awareness on conserving coral reefs, biodiversity of the sea and uplift the livelihood of coastal communities.

A coral reef is similar to a rainforest under the ocean and if properly nurtured can be re-grown to its prior form. Maalu Maalu have taken the initiative to facilitate replanting corals in the unique coral reefs found along the Passekudah Coast. There is also much educating to be done among the fishing villages as research indicates that coral decay has mainly been caused by incorrect fishing methods and adverse weather conditions. In a proactive effort, unfavorable factors that affect the growth of corals are identified and removed as much as possible.
Also present at the launch were special invitees from the UNDP, The Peradeniya University and Tokyo Cement as well as villagers from the nearby fishing villages as well as well wishers and friends.

This is one of many CSR activities that Maalu Maalu Resort & Spa has undertaken in the area. Mr. Chandra Wickramasinghe, Chairman of Maalu Maalu Resort & Spa has spearheaded this initiative and has taken a personal interest in this program. ‘Planting Coral for future generations as well as a step towards repairing the damage done in this beautiful location will truly make Passekudah a paradise’, Mr. Wickramasinghe said. ‘The Passekudah Bay is spellbinding in its beauty. But when the sunlight penetrates the water, you can see the broken coral. I wanted to help restore the rich marine diversity of the area leaving a Coral Heritage for future generations’.

After months of research and pilot projects, the first step was taken to create a natural sustainable coral reef through the ‘Plant a Coral’ Project. Realizing the importance of this task, Tokyo Cement has shown their support by providing concrete boulders, which are used in replanting corals. Coral with a fast growing rate are given priority to be planted with a specialized cement mixture. Secondly, slow growing corals are used in between the first set of corals, which are planted.
The calm and beautiful Passekudah Bay is located about 28 kilometers north of Batticaloa town.
Passekudah Bay contains shallow fringing coral reefs towards the outer bay with scattered coral communities within the Bay. This attracts local and foreign visitors in large numbers particularly during the non-monsoonal period from April to November. Visitors can observe the reefs and fish from fiberglass boats operated by the fisher folk.