In appreciation of the selfless heroes caring for COVID-19 patients around the world, Baros, an island resort in the Maldives, has created a permanent tribute out of regenerated coral. This consists of coral transplanted on frames in the island’s lagoon that spell out the words THANK YOU HEROES. The project, which was started when the resort closed to guests because of the pandemic, is flourishing.
The resort’s resident marine biologists have collected fragments of living coral from the sea bed that had become broken off the reefs surrounding the island. These broken pieces would not survive without this transplantation process. This tribute to health care workers in living coral is also sustainable as it serves to create new habitats for fish and other invertebrates.
This is part of the Coral Regeneration initiative begun at Baros in 2009. Since then, 365 coral tables have been submerged. Complete and mature frames are brought to the nursery in The Baros lagoon, where the Marine Centre team routinely maintains them. This involves cleaning the frames of algae and benthic dwellers such as tunicates which inhibit coral growth.
The coral fragments collected for this unique tribute are flourishing and the wording is clearly visible. It can take two years for the coral to cover a frame completely and then it will continue to grow forever, becoming a permanent recognition of the dedication of the world’s health-care heroes.
The Resort Manager of Baros, Ibrahim Shijah, commented, “In spite of the unprecedented times the world has faced, Baros aims to keep the positive consequences of the pandemic - of compassion, unity and kindness - remembered by this tribute.” The coral can be viewed from the resort’s Lighthouse Restaurant since Baros re-opened to guests on 1st October 2020.
Further, for guests who worked as health care workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, Baros will reward them with the extra benefits of a complimentary couples' massage at the island’s Serenity Spa, a private dinner for two on the beach, champagne upon arrival, and a choice of a free scheduled excursion. The offer is valid until 22nd December 2021.
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