The coral reefs in our oceans are spectacular, elaborate, full of wonder—and dying at an alarming rate. These beautiful "cities of the sea" have been deteriorating rapidly thanks to pollution, climate change, overfishing, and other eco issues; many, including the famous Great Barrier Reef in Australia, have already experienced irreparable damage. But some resorts are stepping up to help protect these natural wonders.
World Reef Day
To raise awareness and help prevent further damage, June 1, 2019, has been declared the first-ever World Reef Day. This international day of recognition marks an urgent call to action to protect the delicate ecosystems of coral reefs all over the world. Some elite luxury resorts, keenly aware of their locations near these precious coral growths, have developed signature programs designed to highlight and preserve their local reefs. Here are three gorgeous resorts doing their part to protect, preserve, and even restore the coral off of their beaches.
The island of Bora Bora, in French Polynesia, is famed for a reef-protected lagoon that makes it a mecca for scuba diving and snorkeling. The Conrad Bora Bora Nui resort, located on a private cove with the island's longest stretch of white-sand beach, has developed more than a dozen underwater coral structures around its property using a process developed by marine biologist Denis Schneider. The technique, called Biorock, increases the coral's natural resistance and encourages regrowth and repopulation. Conrad guests are invited to take part in an immersive experience to see the Biorock program at at work and learn about the importance of coral restoration in the area.
Fiji is an exotic paradise in the South Pacific made up of more than 300 islands, all surrounded by an elaborate system of reefs. On the main island of Viti Levu, the Nanuku is part of the Auberge Resorts Collection, whose "Planet Auberge" program focuses on reducing each property's footprint; the Nanuku employs an on-site marine scientist to run its own coral reef conservation project. Guests can learn about the essential role it plays in the local environment while helping to "plant" new coral on the property's house reef; you can even tag the coral garden you planted so you can track its progress on your next visit.
Closer to home is Half Moon Bay Antigua, on the Caribbean island southeast of Puerto Rico. The site, which boasts a spectacular crescent-shaped white-sand beach protected by a reef, is being developed by Replay Destinations for a 2022 opening, and the development team is taking pains to preserve the local coral. The team is both restoring the soil on the property and rebuilding the bay's reef, in an effort to leave the most gentle imprint possible on this uniquely beautiful site.
How You Can Help
We can all do our part to help protect coral reefs. One easy way is to carry a reusable shopping bag—single-use plastics, like those flimsy throwaway bags, pollute the oceans and threaten coral (as well as other sea life). Another way is to reconsider your sunscreen. The chemicals found in many sunscreens have been found to be very detrimental to reefs. But you don't have to give up fun in the sun; just look for sunscreens that say "reef-safe" and "non-nano" (meaning they do not contain nanoparticles). Raw Elements, a sponsor of World Reef Day, is a good brand to try. Finally, sign up here to receive updates and learn how you can make even more of a difference in saving our oceans' amazing coral reefs.