The Gaafu Alifu atoll is rich in marine life, home to over 1,200 species of fish and coral, including several species of sharks, bottlenose dolphins, green turtles, manta and eagle rays, amongst other unusual species. Secret underwater gardens also form a vital part of this magnificent marine ecosystem; providing food, habitat, and nursery areas for numerous endangered species. These seagrass meadows play an important role in keeping our oceans healthy, soaking up nutrients and bacteria and helping to keep our seawater clean. It also absorbs large amounts of carbon dioxide from the surrounding seawater, and so help to reduce the speed of climate change. Seagrasses help protect our coastlines from storms and rising tides because their leaves take energy out of the waves hitting the coast, and their roots act as an anchor in the underwater sand.
Around the world however this beautiful and valuable seagrass habitat is being lost at an alarming rate. In a collaborative commitment to protect the delicate ecosystem of the marine life, The Residence Maldives forms part of ‘Protect Maldives Seagrass’ initiative launched by the Blue Marine Foundation and the Maldives Underwater Initiative and endorsed by the Maldivian Ministry of Tourism