KRALENDIJK- On May 11th, Reef Renewal Foundation Bonaire (RRFB) celebrated their 10-year anniversary. The event welcomed many of the people that contributed to the success of this ambitious project, which grew from a dream to an incredible example of coral restoration work and an inspiration worldwide.
The celebration opened with the speech from Commissioner Hennyson Thielman, who pointed out the importance, for the island future development and economy, of directing structural funding on projects like this that aim to protect and preserve nature in Bonaire.
Via a video call, Ken Nedimyer, who is globally recognized as a father of coral restoration, as well as the Upper Keys–based director of Reef Renewal Foundation International, spoke about this project’s humble beginnings on Bonaire and his contribution to help make it happen. He reminded everybody about the importance of reef protection and restoration, stressing the importance of the work done by RRFB in extending the restoration efforts to different coral species and focus on genetic diversity, as well as the need to develop better and more effective field techniques.
The President of RRFB, David J. Fishman, spoke the audience about the initial push for this project, and the startup assistance provided by Buddy Dive Resort. He also recognized how this project grew tremendously in 10 years
RRFB Chief Operating Officer, Francesca Virdis, took a moment to retrace the past 10 years of the project, in a heart-warming speech that acknowledged all parties and volunteers, saying, “It is a matter of great pride to see how far RRFB has come and grown over time. Both underwater, and as a community, we have achieved more than what we had ever thought possible, and that is thanks to you and everyone’s hard work.”