Behind the Story: Land Reclamation in the Maldives – the Pulitzer Center

Aerial image of a neighbourhood in Hulhumalé, Maldives (by Ashwa Faheem/UNDP Maldives via

Most visitors come to the Maldives for its resorts and pristine beaches. For Pulitzer Center grantee Jesse Chase-Lubitz, there’s a story behind that sand…The Maldives face an existential threat from sea level rise, and rebuilding the coastline with dredged sand has become a popular solution. But a series of activists on the 1,200-island archipelago are questioning the tradeoffs…Through interviews with taxi drivers, hotel owners, politicians, and scientists, Chase-Lubitz found that land reclamation is not a one-size-fits-all policy…

How Saving The Maldives May Actually Destroy It – the Medium

The reclamation work of K. Gulhifalhu is currently in progress. Total 16.9 million cubic meters of sand has been pumped out of the planned 18 million cubic meters, March 26, 2024(Courtesy of the Maldives Ministry of Construction and Infrastructure via X).

Just imagine waking up one day to find the sea that was once at your doorstep replaced by a fake 130-meter beach. This is the new reality for the residents of Addu, the southernmost atoll of the Maldives. But this shocking transformation isn’t new — it’s a desperate move to keep the country above water and thriving…

Maldives to battle rising seas by building fortress islands – PHYS.ORG

Satellite image of Hulhumalé from 1997 and 2023 (Courtesy of the Housing Development Corporation of Maldives via UNDP-Maldives).

Rising sea levels threaten to swamp the Maldives and the Indian Ocean archipelago is already out of drinking water, but the new president says he has scrapped plans to relocate citizens. Instead, President Mohamed Muizzu promises the low-lying nation will beat back the waves through ambitious land reclamation and building islands higher—policies, however, that environmental and rights groups warn could even exacerbate flooding risks…

Satellite Image Shows Construction of World’s First Floating City – Newsweek

Architectural rendering of the Maldives Floating City that is being developed in a lagoon 15 minutes boat ride from Male’. Designed by Dutch firm, Waterstudio, the floating city will comprise of 5,000 housing units, tethered to the lagoon floor (credit: Press Release, June 25, 2022 via

A floating city, considered the world’s first, is starting to take shape in the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean…Satellite imagery provided exclusively to Newsweek by Maxar Technologies shows the state of construction of the Maldives Floating City, a development of modular floating platforms that is scheduled to be completed in 2027….

Venice Isn’t Alone: 7 Sinking Cities Around the World – How Stuff Works

Digital illustration of a sinking statue of liberty, USA, free to use, via Pixabay

Many big cities sit near the ocean. They became cities in the first place because their ports facilitated trade and travel by sea.

Coastal cities all over the world are sinking — a geological process called subsidence — and it’s happening at a rate that makes scientists nervous. If these bits of land didn’t have important cities on them, it’s likely nobody would notice, or, in some cases, that they wouldn’t be sinking at all…

S A N D : Essential . . . Unregulated . . . and Dwindling

Sand Mining in Quarry Lake, Tahirpur, Bangladesh (by Hasin Hayder on unsplash).

“Sand is the foundation of human construction and a fundamental ingredient in concrete, asphalt, glass and other building materials. But sand, like other natural resources, is limited and its ungoverned extraction is driving erosion, flooding, the salination of aquifers and the collapse of coastal defences…”