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**Bonaire Continues to Maintain Its Reputation as a Leader in Conservation  by Recognizing Earth Day in A Special Way**

 

Kralendijk, Bonaire – (March 25, 2010) – As a result of Bonaire’s longstanding commitment to preserving and protecting the land, there will be several cleanup and recycling activities around the island from April 10 through April 24, in honor of Earth Day (April 22, 2010).


The first event will be an underwater cleanup of Kralendijk's anchorage, sponsored by Dive Friends Bonaire and NetTech.  This cleanup will take place at 1:00 PM on Saturday, April 10, 2010 at the Dive Friends @ Dive Inn facility, where participants will be briefed on what sort of trash should be removed from the underwater environment.  A BBQ for all participants will follow in the late afternoon.  Tanks, weights, and belts, along with main courses and beverages at the BBQ will be provided courtesy of the event sponsors.  Everyone is welcome to help--divers, snorkelers, and those who wish to provide shore support.  For more information, email cleanup@dive-friends-bonaire.com or visit www.dive-friends-bonaire.com.


Then, on Saturday, April 24, the Bonaire National Marine Park will organize a land cleanup of the beach at Washikemba.  This location on the island's east coast is windward, meaning that trash from other locations in the Caribbean and South America will often wash up on the beach.  Interested participants will meet at 7:00 AM at Jong Bonaire.  Bus transportation will be provided for those without vehicles, leaving at 7:15 AM from Jong Bonaire.  Washikemba is on Bonaire's east coast and be sure to bring gloves, closed shoes, sun screen, a cap or hat, and a beverage container (water and juice will be provided).  Prior participant registration is not necessary.  For more information, email info@stinapa.org or contact STINAPA at +599 717-8444.


On Friday, April 23, the island's waste management company, Selibon, N.V., and the Keep Bonaire Clean Foundation (Fundashon Tene Boneiru Limpi) will host a conference at the Divi Flamingo Beach Resort & Casino from 1:30 to 5:00 PM, entitled "Re-use the Past, Recycle the Present, and Save the Future," in honor of the 40th anniversary of Earth Day.  With the laudable goal of creating awareness of individual responsibility to conserve and take care of our planet, the two organizations will present information on what actions can be taken locally on Bonaire to contribute to the conservation of the entire planet.  There will also be a brainstorming session to which community leaders will be invited to present and gather new ideas on how Bonaire's environment can continue to be protected and preserved in both the short-term and long-term.  During the conference, a display will be available highlighting companies and organizations which offer environmentally responsible products.  Attendance is free, and those wishing to attend may register by emailing fundashonteneboneirulimpi@gmail.com.


To engage the young of Bonaire in recycling efforts, both Selibon and the Keep Bonaire Clean Foundation have plans to hold a recycling fair with a contest for the island's children and teenagers, in the hope that such activities will stimulate them with ideas and plans to preserve the planet.


Simultaneously, these two organizations also will be launching "Shop With A Bag." The objective of this campaign is to educate local residents to bring a re-usable shopping bag when grocery shopping.  Such a practice will help eliminate the need for the importation of plastic bags, in turn, keeping the island clean of refuse made by the empty bags.  During this campaign, all local residents will receive a free, re-usable shopping bag.


For additional information on any of these programs offered by Selibon and the Keep Bonaire Clean Foundations, contact fundashonteneboneirulimpi@gmail.com.


Bonaire will also take part in the worldwide "Earth Hour," an initiative of the World Wildlife Fund, when millions of people, thousands of cities, and globally famous monuments all will switch off their lights for just one hour in a symbolic show of support for our one and only planet.  This will take place on March 27 at 8.30 PM local time, no matter where one lives.  Earth Hour began in Australia in 2007, and, since then, the symbolic support of our planet has spread to over 120 countries, including all seven continents, even including Antarctica.   All those on Bonaire are invited to join the Tourist Corporation Bonaire and STINAPA in turning off the lights for only one hour this Saturday, March 27, 2010.


"The wide spectrum of activities planned for Earth Day once again shows Bonaire's long-standing commitment to preserving and protecting the island's environment," said Ronella Tjin Asjoe-Croes, Director of Tourism. “Bonaire continues to stand at the forefront of efforts in the Caribbean region to maintain our natural heritage,” she concluded.


Located eighty-six miles east of Aruba, the Dutch Caribbean island of Bonaire offers year-round sunshine, low annual rainfall, pristine coral formations and the most thriving fish population in the Caribbean. Ideal for adventurers, explorers and sun-worshippers alike, Bonaire offers myriad eco-adventure activities including world renowned scuba diving and snorkeling, windsurfing, kiteboarding, mountain biking, sea and mangrove kayaking, horseback riding, landsailing, nature tours, hiking, bird watching, sailing and seep sea and bone fishing. And with a selection of accommodations ranging from full-service oceanfront resorts and condominiums to guesthouses and small inns, Bonaire has something for every lifestyle and budget.


Bonaire is the recipient of the prestigious Islands Magazine/Caribbean Tourism Organization 2008 Sustainable Tourism Award and continues to be recognized as one of the top destinations worldwide for its sustainable tourism and as one of the top diving destinations in the Atlantic/Caribbean for eight years in a row in the Scuba Diving magazine’s 2010 Readers’ Choice Awards. It was designated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as having the healthiest reefs in the Caribbean (January 2008), and as the Favorite Dive Destination in the World by About.com (June, 2008)


For more information on Bonaire contact the Tourism Corporation Bonaire in the U.S. at 1-800-BONAIRE or visit Bonaire’s official website at www.tourismbonaire.com. Follow Bonaire on Twitter and Facebook.
 


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