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Eco-Friendly Activities at Dive Friends Bonaire

Clean Up Dives
Dive Friends Bonaire organizes the quarterly Bonaire Underwater Clean Up Dive. Upcoming clean ups in 2014 are scheduled for:

January 11th
April 19th
July 12th
October 18th

Briefings begin 10:00 AM, but dates may change so as to not conflict with other events.

On each Clean Up Dive, a different area of Bonaire's coastal reefs or beaches is selected and any trash which has not become part of the reef is collected. We invite and welcome any participants who want to combine vacation with doing the right thing for their reefs! Quarterly cleanups give us the opportunity to focus on the removal of new trash rather than disturbing the flora and fauna that have taken up residence in older trash.

If you happen to be on-island and you're not diving with Dive Friends Bonaire but you'd still like to help keep Bonaire blue and beautiful--no problem. Please bring a copy of your certification card along when you sign-in. We only ask that you fill in one of our liability forms and then you are more than welcome to participate.

The sponsors provide free air and a potluck BBQ after this dive, but we do ask you to bring a small side dish if you come to the BBQ. It's always a really good time!

Please RSVP or direct your questions to Dive Friends Bonaire at +(599) 717-2929 or email cleanup@dive-friends-bonaire.com.

View image galleries of past cleanups using the following links:

Saturday, April 14, 2007--Port Bonaire (click here to view images online)
Saturday, July 14, 2007--House Reef (click here to view images online)
Saturday, September 15, 2007--Dive Friends Yellow Sub Location (click here to view images online)
Saturday, January 12, 2008--The Playa Anchorage by Regatta House (click here to view images online)
Saturday, July 12, 2008--The South Pier (Customs Pier) (click here to view images online)
Saturday, September 20, 2008--The Anchorage (click here to view images online)
Saturday, July 11, 2009--The Anchorage (click here to view images online)
Saturday, April 10, 2010--Cha-Cha-Cha Beach (click here to view images online)
Saturday, July 10, 2010--The Playa Yacht Anchorage, north and south of Dive Friends @ Yellow Submarine (click here to view images online)
Saturday, September 18, 2010--Karel's Beach Bar (click here to view images online)
Sunday, January 16, 2011--South Pier (click here to view images online)
Saturday, April 9, 2011--South Pier (click here to view images online)
Saturday, April 13, 2013--South Pier (click here to view a video online)
Saturday, July 13, 2013--Town Pier (click here to view a video online)
Saturday, October 12, 2013--Port Bonaire (click here to view a video online)
 

Debris Free Bonaire  

Debris Free Bonaire
Unfortunately, not everyone can visit Bonaire while we are having one of our famous quarterly clean-up dives. We now have a program that will allow everyone to give a little bit of their time to help the environment of Bonaire. The eastern coastline of Bonaire accumulates a large amount of plastic debris that has drifted along the current from South America. More and more floating plastic arrives every hour. It is extremely dangerous to our ecosystem and our sea turtles. Many visitors of Bonaire who visit the east coast and witness the volume of plastic feel helpless to do anything about it. Well, no longer! Together we can make a Debris Free Bonaire! Anyone who wants to participate just needs to visit any one of our five dive centers to collect a large mesh bag. We'll show you on a map where the areas of concern are located. Then, you can go for a scenic drive over to the eastern coastline. Fill up the bag with as much plastic debris as you can, and return the bag to Dive Friends Bonaire @ Hamlet Oasis. We have a ten-cubic meter container for the plastic so that everyone can witness how much debris we have removed from the marine environment. We'll sort it for recycling, re-use or proper disposal. If you leave your name and email address with us when you drop off a full collection bag, you will be entered into a raffle every time we fill the container. We'd also like to take a photo of you to let all of your Facebook (and PADI Project AWARE) friends know about the great work that you're doing while on vacation!

Plastics on Bonaire's beaches


REEF  

REEF Survey
Dive Friends Bonaire is a REEF (Reef Environmental Education Foundation) Survey Station. Any interested divers or snorkelers are welcome to conduct a survey. Beginner fish watchers start off at Level 1 and can work their way up by submitting survey data and taking a fish ID quiz or by taking the Dive Friends Bonaire REEF Survey Diver course. Just drop by and we'll lend you a fish survey slate to use.

Once you start conducting fish surveys, your diving experience will change. Suddenly you will start to notice things on your dives that have always been there, but the difference is that now you will know them. You will realize when a species you encounter is a great find, and who are the usual suspects. Another reason - it allows you to participate, become a scientist, become an explorer. It gives you a voice to make a difference. We hope you will use it. For more information, please visit www.reef.org.


The Lionfish Invasion
Unfortunately, the Caribbean lionfish invasion has spread to Bonaire. What started as an unfortunate release from an aquarium in Florida in the early 1990s became an environmental disaster of epic proportions. Lionfish can produce up to 30,000 floating eggs in one spawn. The eat everything that they come across and, due to their venomous spines, almost nothing eats them. Studies have shown that when they appear on your reef--you can lose up to 40% of your biodiversity! Luckily for us, we have a great team of local volunteer divers that are doing their best to combat this scourge. The Bonaire Marine Park has trained and mobilized local divers to use ELFs or Eliminate Lionfish Devices.

What you can do:The Pacific Lionfish, an invasive species on Bonaire

If you see one in the Marine Park, please note the depth, dive site,and location and report it at any of our dive centers. We'll do our best to make sure that it is speared and on someone's dinner plate as soon as possible. Under no circumstances should you try to catch or kill it yourself. Stings from the venomous spines are quite painful. Apply a hot compress (as hot as you can stand) to the wound and head over to the hospital to get it checked out.

Another thing that you can do is EAT LIONFISH! Instead of dining on grouper or shark, who should be left in the oceans to eat lionfish, you can turn the tables and ask for lionfish in every restaurant that you visit on Bonaire. If there's a demand, there will be a supply. It's tasty and perfectly safe to eat. The spines are the only part that contain venom. You can also bring home a Lionfish Cookbook from our retail shop.


Bottle Recycling
Although Bonaire does not have a bottle recycling plant on the island yet, we're taking steps in the right direction by separating our recyclable glass from the rest of our trash. Dive Friends Bonaire has yellow bottle recycling bins set up at each of our dive locations. Just ask any crew member and remember to bring by your empties at the end of your stay!


Battery Disposal
The batteries that we use in our dive lights are rechargeable and we encourage our divers to use the same. However, if your strobes, lights, or gadgets require batteries, please don't throw the used ones in the trash. If they go to the landfill, they can cause environmental damage. We have special battery disposal containers at each of our locations for you to drop them off.

WITHOUT BLUE THERE IS NO GREEN!

 

 

PADI 5-Star Instructor Development Dive Resort
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Dive Friends Bonaire is a receipient of the PADI Green Star Award
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