ReeFiesta 2023: Community of Bonaire Unite for Coral Restoration


On Thursday, June 1, more than 150 community members from all over Bonaire gathered to support coral restoration and the World Reef Awareness Day to celebrate. ReeFiesta, an event hosted by the Reef Renewal Foundation Bonaire (RRFB), provided a profound opportunity for people interested in the ocean and actively contributing to Bonaire's coral restoration initiatives.

The Activities of the Day

ReeFiesta 2023 was started with a shore dive at 10 breeding locations and a guided snorkeling tour, led by RRFB team members and experienced staff from 13 local dive operators. The divers present have dealt with the 63 coral nursery trees. During their visit to the nurseries and planting sites, the snorkelers were introduced to the different restoration methods of RRFB.

Change within the RRFB

After the group spent an afternoon doing underwater activities, they gathered on the beach at Buddy Dive Resort for a celebratory reception, engaging coral restoration trivia sessions, and a lottery that – with great success – raised funds for coral restoration. On the evening during ReeFiesta, there was an announcement of an important change within the foundation, namely the departure of the founder and former president, Martin van der Valk. RRFB President David Fishman and Secretary Augusto Montbrun honored Van der Valk in recognition of his decade of dedication and invaluable contributions to the foundation.

ReeFiesta 2023: An Ode to Collective Efforts

The ReeFiesta 2023 event showcased the collective efforts of individuals and organizations dedicated to preserving the reefs of Bonaire. The event had more than 80 newcomers and many veteran Reef Renewal Foundation supporters. RRFB expresses its deep gratitude to everyone involved, whose support and dedication play an essential role in ensuring the future health and resilience of Bonaire's marine ecosystem.

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