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 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!
A wealth of information through observation.
Reef conservation focuses on protecting and restoring the marine and coastal environment of Mauritius through implementing conservation programmes, research, education and awareness.
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. 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 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.