Choosing VIP Diving is choosing Reef Renewal Foundation Bonaire!
Reef Renewal Foundation Bonaire (RRFB) is a nonprofit organization working to assist the natural recovery of Bonaire’s coral reefs through an active, large-scale reef restoration program.
Our mission is to protect and restore coral reefs in Bonaire by:
– developing new and innovative ways to restore reefs that are supported by research collaborations and shared worldwide
– training, engaging and inspiring the community locally and internationally through volunteering, educational events, and outreach
– demonstrating that through community efforts there is still hope for coral reefs
Restore coral reefs
– Reef Renewal Foundation Bonaire works to protect and restore Bonaire’s coral reefs through an active reef restoration program. Currently, we do this via the large-scale propagation and outplanting of threatened coral species.
– We primarily focus on restoring populations of staghorn (Acropora cervicornis) and elkhorn (Acropora palmata) coral. These two species are listed on the IUCN Red List of Endangered Species as “Critically Endangered”.
– We grow corals in nearshore, field-based coral tree nurseries and then outplant them onto degraded reef sites around Bonaire and Klein Bonaire.
– In our nurseries, the branching Acropora corals we work with can grow from a finger-sized fragment into a reef-ready size in about six to nine months.
– Since 2013, RRFB has outplanted more than 30,000 corals back onto Bonaire’s reef, restoring almost one hectare (~9,000m2) of degraded reefs.
– Many of these corals have now grown into thriving colonies with the ability to spawn, kick-starting the reef’s natural recovery process.
– RRFB currently works with 76 coral genotypes across five species to ensure that we are increasing the resiliency of reefs by focusing on genetic and species diversity.
– We monitor our outplanted corals for survival, health, and growth for at least a year, and utilize this data to evaluate our techniques and inform our future efforts.
– Through a partnership with Secore International, RRFB assists corals’ sexual reproduction using a method called larval propagation. RRFB utilizes corals’ natural spawning events to collect genetic material that is combined on land to form coral larvae that are then returned to the reef to grow into mature corals. Not only does this process add to the genetic diversity of the coral species but it also allows RRFB to work with virtually unlimited species of coral. By undertaking this restoration method and continued monitoring of the corals involved, RRFB adds to the knowledge base of both coral spawning and larval propagation.
– We engage and educate the visiting and local community in our mission to protect and restore Bonaire’s reefs with public educational presentations, Reef Renewal Diver courses, extracurricular school programs, and volunteer opportunities.
Reef Renewal Diver PADI Distinctive Specialty
Ready to use your diving skills to restore the reefs? The Reef Renewal Diver PADI distinctive specialty is a great way to give your time and effort while taking concrete steps to improve Bonaire’s reefs. This 1 ½ day 3-dive course will teach you how to perform nursery and restoration site maintenance, to propagate and outplant corals back to the reefs. Between dives, you will also learn about coral and restoration techniques through interactive presentations and hands-on practice. Ask our staff for possibilities in discovery dives, courses, or volunteering.
Make the difference
How can people make a positive difference for the oceans in their daily lives?
– Educate yourself and others about the crisis facing our oceans
– Reduce your carbon footprint
– Make sustainable food choices
– Choose mineral sunscreens that are zinc or titanium-based
– Interact with the ocean responsibly – don’t touch or harass marine life, don’t collect shells or dead coral, practice good buoyancy while diving
– Support environmental policies and legislation
– Volunteer with ocean conservation organizations
– Update the “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” mantra: Rethink your choices; Refuse unnecessary plastics; Reduce plastic consumption; Reuse what you already have; Resell to give items a second life; Repair what is broken; Repurpose what cannot be fixed; Recycle as a last resort
– Bring items off our wishlist when coming to Bonaire to visit.