The Harbour Village Reef Foundation’s mission is to support and promote the preservation of Bonaire’s pristine waters. The following projects are underway on site to explore methods to preseve and grow the impressive coral reef on Bonaire.
Unlike traditional methods of coral restoration, the Electrified Reef method involves transplanting a variety of coral species to metal structures that have a low voltage DC current, which stimulates new coral growth significantly faster than traditional methods. This technology has been used to grow and supplement living reef structures in order to protect islands and coastal areas from erosion and rising sea levels.
Harbour Village Beach Club on Bonaire has an ideal setting for this type of research with its 16 rock piles right off shore that have attracted new coral growth and a variety of marine life. The Electrified Reef project will be powered with the cabling already in place for the underwater research webcams. The structures will be placed over the rock piles and the project will eventually expand to include Electrified Reef tunnels connecting the rock piles to create a reef and a new home for Bonaire’s marine life.
Harbour Village is home to an underwater coral nursery of Elkhorn and Staghorn corals cared for by the resort’s dive masters, located right off the resort's private beach. Guests can learn how to hang the coral on the trees, to clean and maintain corals as well as how to transplant corals from the nursery to the rock piles right off the Harbour Village beach. Guests transplanting corals can return every year to see how much their transplanted corals have grown. Learn more about the nursery and how you can help, visit our Coral Reef Preservation and Research page.
Two underwater cameras, including one in the coral nursery and another on the nearby reef where the corals are transplanted, have been installed and are providing live streaming during daylight hours. While the feeds can replace one’s office aquarium with virtual fish images, the cameras are intended for students studying marine life though educational groups to provide research data and the submarine view of coral growth.
Harbour Village, in partnership with Gulliver Schools, View into the Blue and Teens4Oceans, offers local and non-local students field research experience and engagement with the Teens4Oceans student network. Local programs such as the Junior Rangers, a new member of Teens4Oceans, have the opportunity to interact with the underwater camera technology as well as connect with students in the US and elsewhere to build communication and leadership skills through ocean stewardship projects.
Data collected from these cameras and a science node are improving the diversity of Teens4Oceans data gathered from Caribbean research sites and provide greater opportunities for student research experiences and partnerships with professional marine science mentors.
The ability to monitor coral growth and marine life remotely and to record/archive in high definition using different methods opens the stage for students to gain first-hand experience in approaching a research question and gathering data. A deep understanding of how important coral reefs are for stabilizing coastal ecosystems and supporting the assemblages of fish and other organisms can be gained using the underwater cameras and the data acquisition tools that measure pH, salinity, and temperature.