What is Reef Renewal Foundation Bonaire?
Reef Renewal Foundation Bonaire (RRFB) is a nonprofit organisation working to protect and restore Bonaire’s coral reefs through an active, large-scale reef restoration program. RRFB’s 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 How does RRFB work to restore coral reefs?
- Reef Renewal Foundation Bonaire works to protect and restore Bonaire’s coral reefs through an active, large-scale reef restoration program.
- RRFB does this via the large-scale propagation and out planting of threatened coral species using two techniques – fragmentation and larval propagation:
- In fragmentation, RRFB grows corals in nearshore, field-based coral nurseries and then outplants them onto degraded reef sites around Bonaire and Klein Bonaire.
- In larval propagation, using tools and protocols developed by SECORE International, RRFB collects gamete bundles from spawning coral colonies, assists with fertilization and settlement of coral larvae on ceramic substrates, and then outplants them onto restoration sites around Bonaire and Klein Bonaire.
- In our nurseries, RRFB currently works with five coral species, representing 74 genotypes, to work towards increasing the resiliency of reefs by focusing on genetic and species diversity.
- Since 2013, RRFB has out planted more than 40,000 corals back onto Bonaire’s reefs, restoring almost one hectare (~9,500m2 ) of degraded reefs. Many of these corals have grown into thriving colonies that are able to spawn, kick-starting the reef’s natural process of recovery. To date, RRFB has observed spawning of out planted colonies at three restoration sites.
- RRFB monitors out planted corals for survival, health, and growth for at least a year, and utilize this data to evaluate techniques and inform future efforts.
Reef Renewal Experience
Want to learn more about coral restoration, but you don’t have time for the full Reef Renewal Diver distinctive specialty?
Let us give you some insight of the opportunities to do more with your diving!
The Discover Reef Renewal Dive experience is tailored to your needs. Get ready to:
- Go over the techniques and tools we use in our coral nurseries
- Learn key skills that you’ll use during the nursery dive
- Have fun swimming around our restoration sites
- Hear about becoming a certified Reef Renewal Diver and joining our volunteer team
Course Length: 1 day/1 dive
Cost: $85 per ½ day 1 diver, $75 per ½ day 2 divers
Includes Materials, Equipment, Air Fills
Reef Renewal Specialty
Ready to use your diving to restore the reefs? Want to learn coral gardening techniques? Is becoming a certified Reef Renewal volunteer something that interests you?
The PADI Reef Renewal Diver distinctive specialty is a fun way to give your time and effort while taking concrete steps to improve Bonaire’s reefs. Bring the science of reefs to life and do your part to rescue threatened and endangered ecosystems and species. Perfect for families, single divers, vacationers, school groups, and more!
During this 3-dive course you will:
- Get inspired during on-land interactive, hands-on lessons and skills practice
Maintain the coral nurseries while honing your buoyancy
- Propagate new corals in the nurseries that will restore degraded reefs
Outplant corals back into the reef, leaving a living, lasting mark on Bonaire’s reefs
- Become a member of RRFB’s volunteer ranks and join in volunteer dives throughout the year or whenever you return to Bonaire
Course Length: 2 day/3 dives
Cost: $165 per day/$85 per ½ day 1 diver, $130 per day/$75 per ½ day 2 divers
Includes Materials, Equipment, Air Fills and Certification Fee
Reef Renewal Volunteer Program
Reef Renewal volunteers help the organization with a myriad of tasks, including assisting Reef Renewal Foundation Bonaire staff in the coral nurseries, helping with maintenance activities, outplanting corals to restoration sites around Bonaire and Klein Bonaire, and more! Each week RRFB updates volunteers with scheduled RRFB-led dives and opportunities for skills updates. Volunteers are also welcome to perform maintenance activities at shore accessible sites during their free time. Our flexible volunteering options make it easy to jump in at your convenience!
Are you interested in becoming a RRFB Volunteer?
Whether you live on Bonaire or are a visitor, you can give back to the reefs. Before becoming a volunteer, you will need to take the Reef Renewal Diver PADI distinctive specialty course, which is offered through our partner dive shops.
We welcome both local and international volunteers; we recommend our visiting volunteers to plan a few weeks on Bonaire with a fellow Reef Renewal Diver certified buddy to get the most out of the volunteering experience, but week-long visitors and single divers are invited to join the team too.
- Open Water or Junior Open Water SCUBA certification
- Reef Renewal Diver PADI distinctive specialty certification
- Dive Gear (tanks will be provided)
- Passion to become a coral lover!
Already PADI Reef Renewal certified? Contact us to become part of our volunteer program!