The Reef Renewal Foundation Bonaire recently announced the addition of Divi Dive Bonaire and VIP Diving to the list of dive operators that are supporting the island’s reef restoration efforts.
As part of the first phase, two nurseries with an initial capacity of 600 corals have been installed in shallow water at Calabas Reef, which is accessible from shore for divers and snorkelers. Both critically endangered staghorn and elkhorn coral species are being hosted and propagated in the nurseries, which will be maintained by Divi Dive Bonaire and VIP Diving. Once their staff’s training is completed, these dive shops will have the opportunity to attract visitors to participate in a unique coral restoration experience, that can shape tourist relationship with marine environment and foster global stewardship for coral reef ecosystem.
RRFB, which started in its infancy with a small group of local individuals, confirms its grassroots approach and focuses in actively involving the community in the coral restoration program, which is key to protect and preserve Bonaire’s marine ecosystems in a sustainable way.
These two new dive operators will also be acting as educational outlets for visitors and residents who want to learn more about coral reefs and reef restoration. Through organizing events, giving presentations and training volunteer divers, they will serve an essential role in encouraging the public to become involved in the Reef Renewal Foundation Bonaire’s project.
VIP Diving Operations Manager Pascal Van Empelen said:
“We, at VIP Diving, had the privilege to team up with Reef Renewal Foundation Bonaire and are proud and honored to be part of this endeavor. We are excited to participate in renewing the reef with our staff and dive guests. The corals give us so much joy, and now we have the opportunity to give some love back to the ocean. Together we can and will make a difference, and we will do our utmost to share our passion for ocean conservation.”
According to Celine Van Meer, general manager of Divi Flamingo Beach Resort & Casino:
“Any action taken, whether it be large or small, can help. Our entire team is excited to take action now, to help ensure sustainability for the future, as climate change, among other factors, continues to have an impact on our oceans and marine life.”