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.

 
 
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LOCATION: Bonaire

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.

Vince says the turtles are very friendly in Bonaire


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:

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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.

Scuba Gear

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.

Additional Certifications

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

  • Government taxes

  • Marine Park Fee

  • Buddy Resort Crew Gratuity

  • Scuba Equipment Rental

  • DAN Insurance

  • 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

Paperwork

  • 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.

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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.


Please contact the dive leader, Vince Smith <vince@blue-endeavors.org> with any questions.

Hope to see you on the trip!