2 New Dive Shop Members Join Our Restoration Efforts
Divi Dive Bonaire and VIP Diving join Reef Renewal Foundation Bonaire’s mission to restore and protect our vital coral reefs.
14 JANUARY 2020
(Bonaire, Dutch Caribbean) In a moment when responsible and sustainable tourism are greatly valued, Reef Renewal Foundation Bonaire (RRFB) is pleased to announce the addition of Divi Dive Bonaire and VIP Diving to the list of dive operators that are supporting the island reef restoration effort.
Following the example of Beyond the Corals, Buddy Dive Resort, Great Adventures Bonaire, Tropical Divers and Wannadive, these two new dive operators will also be acting as education 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.
“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.”
– Pascal Van Empelen, Operations Manager – VIP Diving
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.
“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.”
– Celine Van Meer, General Manager |Divi Flamingo Beach Resort & Casino
About Reef Renewal Foundation Bonaire
Reef Renewal Foundation Bonaire’s (RRFB) mission is to help protect, replenish, and restore the biodiverse coral reefs of Bonaire. We focus on implementing innovative, science-based programs that expand and strengthen populations of keystone coral reef species. We do this so that the reefs of Bonaire can gain the necessary scale, genetic diversity, and resilience to thrive today and in the uncertain, ever-changing conditions of the future. Today, with the help of 13 partner diveshops around the island and a dedicated team of volunteers, Reef Renewal Foundation Bonaire has outplanted over 50,000 corals back to the reef.