The Nueva School BONAIRE CORAL REEF RESTORATION EXPEDITION
Feb. 15th, 2019 - Feb. 24th, 2019
Since 2012 Blue Endeavors has been taking high school students on expeditions all over the world. Students on our trips get to partake in all the same dive experiences as recreational divers visiting these areas, but also have an exploration, real world science, and ocean conservation mission.
Bonaire is located just north of Venezuela in the southern Caribbean. This Dutch Caribbean island has protected its marine resources for more than 35 years. Because of this, marine life abounds with more than 470 fish species found in Bonaire’s waters. Famed as one of the best Caribbean dive destinations, Bonaire hosts amazing coral reefs and long forgotten shipwrecks. Underwater photography is a favorite activity due to Bonaire’s incredibly clear water and unspoiled ecosystem. Established as a marine park in 1979, Bonaire National Marine Park is now a hotspot for Caribbean biodiversity and a great destination for divers.
PROJECT: Coral Reef Restoration, Service Learning, and the STINAPA Jr. Rangers
For the past few years Blue Endeavors has been taking students to Bonaire to participate hands on in a project to grow the coral reef system in Bonaire. You will be trained and certified in this process.
Corals can grow and reproduce both sexually, through spawning, and asexually, through a process called "fragmentation". If conditions are favorable, and a branch breaks away and falls onto the reef, it can reattach and begin to grow a new colony.
Coral Reef Restoration project has developed a way of exploiting this natural process of fragmentation to allow us to efficiently propagate, or "farm", huge numbers of corals.
They fragment coral colonies into smaller, finger-sized pieces. These smaller fragments are then hung on Coral Trees™ - a simple PVC design that we developed, that allows us to grow huge numbers of coral fragments in large, offshore nurseries.
Suspended in the nutrient-and-sunlight-rich water column, the fragments of corals on our Coral Trees grow into colonies that are large enough to be outplanted to the reef in just six to nine months.
The Junior Ranger Program is an out-of-school nature education program run by STINAPA in Bonaire to help teenagers develop knowledge and understanding of nature and to create teenage role models who develop leadership skills, critical thinking and problem solving. They are educated about nature and the environmental problems on the island of Bonaire. The Junior Ranger Program is a complete package of nature education activities where teenagers come in contact with nature and learn by doing through activities that take place within nature conservation programs on Bonaire.
The following slideshow is from past high school trips:
The Expedition Itinerary
Oct. 29 - Orientation Meeting
TBD - Dive Activity Meeting / Gear Up
TBD - Coral Meeting / Trip Prep
Jan 19&20 - New Diver Pool Sessions
Feb. 15/16– SFO flight to Bonaire
Feb. 17– Marine park orientation, 2 dives
Feb. 18– 3 dives, night dive
Feb. 19– 3 dives, STINAPA Junior Rangers activities
Feb. 20 - Coral Reef Restoration, STINAPA Junior Rangers activities
Feb. 21 - Coral Reef Restoration Dives, night dive
Feb. 22 - Coral Reef Restoration Dives, 3 dive day
Feb. 23 - REEF Citizen Science Survey with Jr. Rangers
Feb. 24 - Return Flight to SFO
This expedition is for both not yet certified divers & certified divers
All students must be 14 years old, able to swim 300m nonstop, tread water for 10 mins, and able to get medical clearance for the trip from a physician.
All the students will have the same number of dives, however already certified divers will have different and more advanced dive experiences from the not yet certified divers for the first two days.
Non-certified divers will need to complete the online training, and pool sessions on Jan. 19th or 20th or make alternate arrangements with the dive leader for make-up pool sessions. The discounted cost of this training for students is $395 plus gear. The students will finish their open water training in Bonaire.
We have heavily discounted basic dive gear packages for the students ranging from $250-$400. These basic items are theirs to keep, and they will be brining this gear on the trip. These packages include the rental of all the additional equipment they will need in the pool and in the ocean.
All the students will receive a Coral Reef Restoration certification as part of the successful completion of the project.
We will also be offering the following specialty certifications for interested students: Nitrox, Night Diving Specialty, Deep Diving, Advanced, and Lion Fish Hunting (An invasive species destroying the reef). These specialty classes and the ostracod night dive are available for an additional cost. All the students will have the same amount of dives available on the trip independent of enrolling in these classes or not.
All of these class options will be discussed with parents and students during the dive activity meeting.
THE DIVE RESORT & DETAILS:
We at Blue Endeavors have been visiting the island with the amazing staff at Buddy’s Dive Resort for the past few years.
What is included on this trip:
Dive/Expedition Leaders from Blue Endeavors
Coral Reef Restoration Training and Certification
8 Days/7 Nights in a fully equipped apartment
7 Day rental vehicle
6 days of unlimited nitrox fills
6 boat dives and unlimited shore diving
Breakfast buffet, and restaurant style meal plan for lunch and dinner
Marine Park Fee
Buddy Resort Crew Gratuity
Scuba Equipment Rental
Flights and Airport Transfers
DL2986 15FEB SFO-ATLANTA 1045P 619A+1
DL 380 16FEB ATLANTA-BONAIRE 945A 249P
DL 672 24FEB BONAIRE-ATLANTA 359P 706P
DL 775 24FEB ATLANTA-SFO S 919P1159P
Trip Cost: $4,799
Two Payment Options: Payments can be broken up into two payments at different dates, or one payment for a pay-in-full discount. Select your option below.
Payment 1 - Reserve a space on the expedition
Payment 2 - Due January 4th, 2019
Pay in full option to save $300 on the expedition
We will be emailing out a packet with permission for minors to travel, liability waivers and medical forms.
Please let us know the student’s name as it appears on the passport and the valid passport number
Health & Safety
Vaccinations: Routine vaccinations, Hepatitis A, Typhoid / www.cdc.gov /
Reported diseases: 1 case of ZikaVirus - Mosquito bite prevention, Repellant, Long pants/shirts
Safety: Sunburn and Dehydration, Scuba safety will be covered in your training. The dive instruction team uses small instructor to student ratios.
Medical emergency plan will be discussed at the meeting: Bonaire has western medical standards, all students will have DAN insurance for evacuation and transport to medical facilities. The hospital, clinic and pharmacy are less than 10 minutes from our resort, and at their version of urgent care to see a doctor for minor issues typically takes less than 1 hour.
About Blue Endeavors
Blue Endeavors is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that began in Bay Area High Schools in 2012, Our Focus is to:
Connect people to the ocean and to a community
Educate people about the challenges facing the ocean, and actions we can all take to both minimize our impact and create positive change
Discover the next generation of leaders in the field of ocean conservation and restoration, and create new solutions.