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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) Publishes its First Online Newsletter

The Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance, headquartered in Bonaire, has been very successful in several efforts over the past few years.  They have now begun publication of a semi-annual newsletter, the first of which is available by clicking here (in PDF format), and covers events and information for the first half of 2007.

In the newsletter, interested readers can find out more about such initiatives as the turtle tracking project or how the DCNA is working with other conservation-minded organizations to achieve their goals.  (Source: DCNA)

Posted by Susan Davis on January 29, 2008 at 10:10am AST
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Monday, January 28, 2008

The Children’s Parade Kicks Off Bonaire’s Karnival Celebrations

This past weekend, the Children’s Parade kicked off Bonaire’s annual Karnival celebrations.  Images from the parade can be viewed on the Bonaire Insider Photo Gallery by clicking here.

This coming weekend, the festivities continue with the Grand Parade, held Saturday, February 2, in Rincon and held Sunday, February 3, in Kralendijk.  Monday is a legal holiday. (Source:  Bonaire Insider reporter)

Posted by Susan Davis on January 28, 2008 at 1:31pm AST
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Friday, January 25, 2008

CIEE Offers New Lecture--Mapping Bonaire’s Reefs Using High Tech Robots and Mixed Gas Diving

As a follow-up to a previous story, CIEE Bonaire is offering a free, public lecture regarding the mapping of Bonaire’s reef using high tech robots and mixed gas diving.

This lecture will take place on Monday, January 28, 2008 at 7:30 pm at the CIEE headquarters at Kaya Gobernador N. Debrot # 21.  The lecture will focus upon the work being done by a team of marine scientists from the United States, Canada, Great Britain, and Iceland, who are using three free-swimming robots, and other high technology, to help inventory the reefs of Bonaire.  Included is an overview of how the technology works, the kinds of data and maps they are making, and how this will benefit the people of Bonaire.  (Source:  Bonaire Marine Park)

Posted by Susan Davis on January 25, 2008 at 1:04pm AST
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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

EU Provides Euro 20 Million to Bonaire for Sewer System

According to commissioner Anthony Nicolaas (UPB) of Town and Country Planning & Management, after 18 years of trying, Bonaire has finally received the needed financing from the EU to implement a sewer system.

The subsidy of 20 million Euro, or more than 50 million Antillean Guilders, will fund the project which includes digging and installing the sewer system, as well as an installation for water treatment.  It is planned that WEB will be in charge of the implementation, and the LVV will manage the water treatment installation.  The treated water will be used to irrigate the green areas of hotels and for agricultural uses.

The sewer system will run from Hato to Punt Vierkant, with a buffer zone of 500 meters.  All cesspools in this area will be replaced with septic tanks, to prevent sewage water from flowing into the sea via the groundwater.

“I am very pleased. The contract must now be signed, after which we can start with the tender. The start of the project is planned for early next year”, says Nicolaas. (Source:  Amigoe)

Posted by Susan Davis on January 23, 2008 at 9:24am AST
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Monday, January 21, 2008

The World Ocean Observatory Launches New Coral Reefs Web Site

The World Ocean Observatory has recently launched a new, on-line resource, Coral Reefs.  This comprehensive, media-rich site features videos and podcasts, reports and forums, educational materials, and more to explain and highlight the state of the world’s coral reefs, and can be viewed by clicking here.

Coral reefs have been called the rain-forests of the sea, because of their iconic status as the most colorful and diverse places on earth.  Reefs have been critically important in furthering our understanding of marine ecology and nature in general--the delicate balances between reef inhabitants have taught much about how the world works and how human activity can upset the web of life. Tropical reefs have great value to humans, not just as treasures seascapes (that generate revenues for neighboring coastal communities all around the world), but also as sources of food, as providers of materials, as beach-forming agents and as natural buffers from storms and tsunamis, and as repositories of pharmaceutical compounds for treating human disease.

Yet despite this great value, coral reefs around the world are rapidly becoming degraded. Over-fishing, pollution, fertilizers, and other anthropogenic sources, poorly planned or uncontrolled coastal development, and climate change effects like warming and ocean acidification are taking their toll on reefs. Some predict the disappearance of reefs as we know them in just a few short decades, unless action is taken to improve reef health today (view an opinion paper by clicking here).

The World Ocean Observatory is dedicated to information, education, and public discourse about the ocean defined as an integrated global social system. They believe that informed citizens worldwide can unite to sustain the ocean through mitigation and change of human behavior on land and sea.  They publish an on-line newsletter regarding events and other information regarding the world’s oceans.  You may subscribe by clicking here. (Source:  World Ocean Observatory Web Site)

Posted by Susan Davis on January 21, 2008 at 8:08am AST
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Thursday, January 17, 2008

Ocean Explorer (NOAA) is Currently Re-Mapping Bonaire Reefs

There is a current expedition occurring on Bonaire to help explore coral reef sustainability using new technologies to survey the island’s reef system.  The NOAA Ocean Explorer expedition, begun on January 7, 2008, will continue through the month with the help of Ramon de Leon (STINAPA) and Frank van Slobbe (Government).

Because Bonaire’s reef system can be argued to be the most pristine coral reef environment in the Caribbean, where the percent coral cover is the highest and percent algal cover the lowest compared to other Caribbean reefs, its reef environment represents a baseline against which can be compared to other coral reefs. Although the shallow leeward environment near Bonaire between 0-12 m was mapped in the 1980s by a Dutch scientist, Dr. Fleur van Duyl, little to no survey work has been conducted on the deeper reef (60-100 m) or into deeper water (100-300 m).  A recent meeting of the International Coral Reef Initiative, an effort of the United Nations Environmental Program, identified mapping the reefs of Bonaire a top priority in a regional context, and the territorial government of Bonaire has indicated strong support for the NOAA mapping project. Bonaire, Curacao, Las Aves, and Los Roques have recently been proposed for United Nations World Heritage Status given the pristine marine environments and high degree of endemic species which are those found nowhere else on the planet.

For detailed information about how the survey will be conducted as well as the equipment used, or to follow the survey via NOAA’s blogs, click here. (Source:  NOAA Ocean Explorer Web Site)

Posted by Susan Davis on January 17, 2008 at 10:56am AST
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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

2008 Underwater Cleanups Begin with Kralendijk’s Oceanside Promenade at Kas di Regatta

On Saturday, January 12, 2008, a group of over 25 divers, snorkelers, and shore support gathered together to assist with underwater and shoreline cleanup of a portion of Bonaire’s waterfront promenade.  This particular cleanup focused upon the shoreline and shallow waters in Bonaire’s anchorage in front of Kas di Regatta (Regatta House).  This area has not been cleaned in 1-1/2 years, and so it was quite ready to be beautified once again.

After a comprehensive briefing by Susan Davis of NetTech explaining what trash to bring up and what to leave behind, the divers walked the short distance to the planned dive site, while their gear was transported for them.  There, they suited up and entered the water for the easy dive to clean the shallows under the yacht anchorage.

As their bags were filled, the divers and snorkelers brought them to those working shore support, who sorted the trash, checked once again to be sure no marine creatures had been inadvertently included, counted and tallied the trash for statistics, and then disposed of it responsibly.  This small group of volunteers managed to bring up the following trash in just an hour or two:  51 pieces of plastic, including bottles, cups, utensils, rope, and even a cassette tape; 77 pieces of glass, including bottles, food jars, and other glass pieces; 4 rubber pieces; 33 pieces of metal, including cans and wire; 47 pieces of paper, many of which were leftover trash from fireworks on New Year’s Eve; 2 pieces of wood and 13 pieces of cloth.

After the dive, all participants and their families were welcomed back for a Pot Luck BBQ—Dive Friends Bonaire and NetTech, the sponsors of the quarterly Bonaire cleanups, provided drinks and main courses, while participants supplied side dishes.

Images from this cleanup are available online at the Bonaire Insider Photo Gallery by clicking here.

The schedule of remaining 2008 cleanups is available by clicking here.  All are welcome to join in.  (Source:  Dive Friends Bonaire and Nettech, N.V.)

Posted by Susan Davis on January 16, 2008 at 10:40am AST
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Monday, January 14, 2008

CIEE Bonaire Continues with Free Lecture Series

The Council on International Educational Exchange (Bonaire facility) is continuing with its lecture series, free to the public.  The next topic will be, “Bonaire in the focus of worldwide research on extreme wave events (hurricanes and tsunamis).”

The lecture will take place on Monday, January 21st, at 7:30 PM at the CIEE Bonaire Research Station, located at Kaya Gobernador N. Debrot #21.  It will be presented by Dr. Dieter Kelletat.  All, both tourists and residents of the island, are welcome to attend.  (Source:  CIEE Bonaire)

Posted by Susan Davis on January 14, 2008 at 3:11pm AST
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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Patagonia Restaurant Offers Live Entertainment Each Sunday

On the restaurant’s first year anniversary in December, Moogie, a well-known Bonaire musician, provided live music to those dining in the restaurant.  The musical entertainment was so appreciated by the restaurant’s patrons, that Patagonia Restaurant has arranged to have Moogie play each week.

Starting now, every Sunday night from 7:00 PM until 10:00 PM, Moogie will be providing the same easy-listening music for which he is famous.  Dinner reservations are recommended, and can be made by emailing info@patagoniarestaurant.com or visit their web site by clicking here.

Posted by Susan Davis on January 10, 2008 at 3:58pm AST
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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

The First Underwater Cleanup for 2008 is Slated for Saturday, January 12th

Dive Friends Bonaire and NetTech sponsor four underwater cleanups each year, one each quarter.  The first cleanup for this year will be in front of Kas di Regatta along the oceanfront promenade on Saturday, January 12, 2008.

Everyone is invited, divers and non-divers alike, as shore personnel are also needed for help in counting and tracking trash which has been brought up.  The location, in front of Kas di Regatta, has not been cleaned in 1-1/2 years, and so is probably quite ready to be cleaned.  Anyone interested in participating should meet at the Dive Friends Yellow Sub location on the ocean promenade at 1:00 PM on Saturday.  After a comprehensive briefing, divers and shore support will leave for Kas di Regatta for the dive.

Those participating are invited back at 5:30 PM to Dive Friends Yellow Sub for a Potlock BBQ.  Entrees and drinks are provided by Dive Friends and NetTech, but please bring a small side dish to share with friends.

For more information about the cleanups, click here (Source:  Dive Friends Bonaire and NetTech)

Posted by Susan Davis on January 09, 2008 at 10:46am AST
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