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Round Hill Hotel and Villas looks to the future with eco-friendly coral garden project

Round Hill Hotel and Villas, Jamaica
Classic Jamaican Resort Working with Marine Biologists to Restore Local Sea Life
Over the past few years, Round Hill Hotel and Villas has been ramping up its sustainability and eco-friendly efforts by working with local marine biologists to restore the corals, fish, and shellfish to the property’s house-reef through a process known as “coral gardening.” In restoring this ecosystem, the Round Hill Reef Gardens will become healthier and better able to sustain local sea life.

“We are incredibly proud to be part of such a worthwhile cause, as well as raising much-needed awareness to the deteriorating condition of the reefs,” said Round Hill’s Managing Director, Josef Forstmayr.

Round Hill has partnered with coral restoration organisation, Seascape Caribbean, and its’ assisting managing director and marine biologist, Dr. Andrew Ross, to assist with the organisation’s goal of creating 5,000 new corals within the next three years. “The progress we have achieved in our first year is extremely promising and we are exceptionally grateful to have Round Hill’s support with this initiative,” said Dr. Andrew Ross.   

Part of this restoration process is the “gardening” of corals, which is the process of growing coral seedlings in a nursery and then re-planting those grown corals back in the reef. These corals, in turn, provide ideal nursery habitats for baby fish, lobsters and crabs to grow, increasing total numbers for all sea life.  

As the area fills up with fish, any extras move outside of the reef garden area to be caught by local fishermen for sale at the Hanover beaches and markets. To keep the corals healthy, local fishermen have been employed and trained to tend them. They will remove the snails and worms that eat the coral and remove algae and plastic trash that smother the coral.  

The special technicians are called “coral gardeners” as their work is similar to what people might do in their home garden in order to maintain them. The Coral Gardeners will also play an important role in communicating this request to fishermen and the community, as will Round Hill’s staff, because this project is for the betterment of all of the nearby communities.  

To bring awareness to this wonderfully necessary cause, Round Hill looks to provide educational tours to guests as well as to area schoolchildren by snorkeling and glass-bottom boat tours, where the Coral Gardeners will be guides for the activities.

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