STORIES By Heritage Resorts - Issue 3 - 2019 - Page 38



|NATURE
BEL OMBRE LAGOON
A WEALTH OF INFORMATION
THROUGH OBSERVATION
A WELL-KEPT
JEWEL
Reef Conservation focuses
on protecting and restoring
the marine and coastal
environment of Mauritius
through implementing
conservation programmes,
research, education and
awareness – the perfect partner
for Heritage Resorts. The
NGO completed a first survey
in 2015 and a subsequent
Environmental Monitoring
Report in 2018. The message
is clear: despite being in good
condition, the Bel Ombre
lagoon is vulnerable and
requires active protection.
by Mélissa Leclézio
Photos : Gerald Rambert
THE BEL OMBRE LAGOON IS A MODEL OF MARINE
CONSERVATION FOR THE COUNTRY, AND HERITAGE RESORTS
IS COMMITTED TO SAFEGUARDING THIS VULNERABLE AND
INVALUABLE HERITAGE TREASURE. THE GROUP HAS TEAMED
There is a total of 55 hectares
of reef habitat and 20 hectares
of seagrass in the four areas
of the lagoon. These two
types of seabed are vital to a
healthy ecosystem. There are
differences between seaweed
and seagrass, the latter consists
UP WITH REEF CONSERVATION, AN NGO WHICH HAS BEEN
MONITORING THE BEL OMBRE MARINE ECOSYSTEM AND
MAKING RECOMMENDATIONS IN THE LIGHT OF SURVEYS
UNDERTAKEN SINCE 2015. LET’S TAKE A DISCOVERY TOUR
AND LEARN TIPS TO HELP PROTECT THIS AMAZING LAGOON!
36
| HERITAGE RESORTS STORIES
HERITAGE RESORTS STORIES |
37
of flowering plants forming
underwater meadows in bays
and coastal areas. Their leaves
slow down currents, allowing
sedimentation, and their roots
keep sand in place and prevent
the dispersion of sediments,
which can smother corals.
Seagrass meadows play an
important role in slowing down
beach erosion and also provide
cover for young fish.
Coral habitats also help
slow down beach erosion
by protecting the shoreline
against waves. They harbour
various species of plants and
animals, and are a major food
source for marine wildlife and
humans. Finally, they contribute
significantly to medical
advances. The Bel Ombre
lagoon is home to brain corals
– which are easy to identify! – as
well as massive corals, delicate
branched and soft corals.

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