Fabien Cousteau & Harbour Village Beach Club Launch Advanced Coral Preservation on Bonaire
BONAIRE, Dutch Caribbean – Aug. 30, 2016 – In an effort to enhance and accelerate coral preservation in Bonaire, Fabien Cousteau, famed filmmaker, ocean preservationist and grandson of explorer Jacques Cousteau, and Harbour Village Beach Club, Bonaire’s only luxury resort and a leader in marine conservation, together announce the intention to bring 3-D coral printing technology to the Caribbean island later this year. Through their newly-created Ocean Learning Center by Cousteau, located on-property, the cutting edge technology will amplify current restoration efforts in place by various groups and help advance reef growth for many species beyond just the coral itself.
“Coral reefs account for 25 percent of all reef life and $6.7 trillion of global economic development,” said Fabien Cousteau. “Bonaire is in a prime position to enhance reef growth because it has so many natural, healthy reefs already. Our initiative with 3-D printing will rapidly assist us in revitalizing more stressed or damaged areas.”
Better at imitating real coral, the 3-D printed reefs will have the same shape, texture and chemical make-up that attract free-floating baby coral polyps. Creating a lush, colorful coral garden, these “crown jewels” of the tropical seas will sustain other aquatic life such as algae, anemones, octopus, crab and more.
“We are pleased to use advanced knowledge of prominent sea issues to make Bonaire an example for the Caribbean and other areas of the world,” said Eric Ewoldt, Executive Director of Harbour Village. “We know 3-D printing efforts have worked in Monaco and the Gulf States among others. With the development of our Ocean Learning Center, now is the perfect time to launch this technology in Bonaire.”
The exact locations for the project have yet to be determined and await local input and strategic design to maximize impact. Eventually, 3-D printing will occur on-island through the resort’s Ocean Learning Center, a research think tank with educational programming for guests, designed to raise awareness and seek solutions for ocean conservation.
“3-D printed corals can generate real change and establish real growth for reefs, one of the key attractions for visitors and divers alike in Bonaire,” said Cousteau. “This technology is less labor-intensive than current coral restoration processes, creating a larger impact in a shorter amount of time.”
Harbour Village recently announced a wide-ranging collaboration with Cousteau to bring innovation, creativity and three generations of Cousteau experience to Bonaire through a series of high-level global ocean summits, the Ocean Learning Center and Fabien Cousteau Voyages – a top-notch travel adventure for small groups on an NOAA research vessel and submarine.
“I’ve been all over the world and Bonaire is a very special place,” said Cousteau. “My goal is to positively influence the young people on Bonaire, engage decision-makers to choose to preserve the ocean’s natural beauty and culture, and make this island an example for the world.”
HARBOUR VILLAGE BEACH CLUB ON BONAIRE ANNOUNCES
PARTNERSHIP WITH OCEAN CONSERVATIONIST FABIEN COUSTEAU
June 8, 2016 – In observation of World Oceans Day, Harbour Village Beach Club, the Caribbean’s “best kept secret” and Bonaire’s only luxury resort, proudly announces a partnership with noted filmmaker, explorer and ocean preservationist Fabien Cousteau, the grandson of famed explorer Jacques Cousteau, in an effort to raise awareness for ocean conservation efforts among discerning Caribbean travelers.
“This partnership perfectly complements Harbour Village’s ongoing conservation efforts,” said Frank J. Gonzalez, Managing Director of Harbour Village Beach Club. “As recipients of the PADI Green Star Award and proud members of Project Aware, we’re excited to supplement our legacy as an environmentally-conscious resort by working with Fabien Cousteau, ultimately achieving our mission to enhance the conservation, education and exploration of our world’s oceans, while exceeding guests’ expectations.”
As the resort’s environmental ambassador, Cousteau will collaborate with the resort on a wide range of issues including ocean preservation and climate change topics through a series of high-level Global Ocean Summits held on Bonaire at Harbour Village. Continuing their shared commitment of researching and exploring the world’s oceans, Harbour Village will also host “Fabien Cousteau Voyages,” providing small groups with high-end travel adventures on an NOAA research vessel and submarine.
“On a recent trip to Bonaire, I encountered Harbour Village Beach Club and it is truly a first-class destination resort in every way with a strong environmental conscience,” said Fabien Cousteau. “From their reef preservation initiatives to their Great Adventures Bonaire program, a PADI 5 Star Instructor Development Center offering scuba diving, snorkel trips and educational dive courses, the property is committed to an ocean ethic.”
Cousteau will expand his non-profit Ocean Learning Center, based in New York City, to the Southern Caribbean with headquarters at Harbour Village, furthering the resort’s eco-friendly amenities and offering educational programming for resort guests of all ages. Additionally, Cousteau will join diving adventures with Harbour Village guests as well as unique experiences curated by the resort and Cousteau himself.
“My vision is for Harbour Village to be the center of a ‘think tank’ on critical conservation and environmental issues facing our planet through two annual Global summits and conferences,” Cousteau said. “Our programs will bring together those working earnestly in the field and some of the best minds in the world in order to seek solutions required to save our water planet, while educating resort guests about the importance of ocean conservation.”
Harbour Village Beach Club Invites Guests to “Find Bonaire” with A Finding Dory-Inspired Getaway
BONAIRE, Dutch Caribbean - March 2016 – Celebrating the upcoming release of Disney Pixar’s Finding Dory, Harbour Village Beach Club invites guests to “just keep swimming” toward the Caribbean’s best-kept secret with the “Finding Bonaire” getaway, starting at $2,830/seven-nights,* bookable now – June 30, for travel April 10 - Sept. 30, 2016 – offering vacationers up to 20 percent savings. With fish-friendly elements including everything from airy accommodations steps from the island’s only private beach and a “Fish are Friends, Not Food” specialty menu, to aquatic adventures and a personal “pet fish” in-room – unlike Dory, this charming Caribbean resort won’t forget a thing for this exclusive escape.
Starting at $2,830/7-nights*
- Seven-night accommodations in a one-bedroom Beachfront Suite
- Special “Fish are Friends, Not Food” menu complete with sand and sea dishes
- Stuffed Nemo toy keeps kids company throughout the stay
- Finding Nemo movie available to screen in-room
- Snorkel & Marine Reef Fish Spying session
- Use of fitness center, kayaks and paddle boards
- Round trip airport transfers
Nestled within Bonaire’s lush tropical gardens and outfitted with open-air terraces and hammocks, the charming Dutch-Caribbean style suites unveil a paradise-perfect vacation to be discovered. Along the island’s only private beach, parents sway in hammocks under the sun’s relaxing rays while kids snorkel by the shore, greeting a sea full of characters including blue tang (Dory) fish, surfing sea turtles and (Nemo) clownfish. The beachside adventures continue dockside at La Balandra Restaurant and Bar, where diners cure cravings with Caribbean cuisine from sand or sea – fish fanatics experience true over-the-water “aquarium seats,” as LCD lights showcase sea creatures swimming through the azure waters. The day of discovery concludes as kids cozy up with their personal “pet fish” for an in-room screening of Finding Nemo, while Bonaire’s signature sunset cascades through the terrace. From lounging by Kasa Coral Pool and swimming with tropical sea animals, to discovering coral reefs and picnicking in the sand, Harbour Village Beach Club is the ideal setting for a getaway worthy of Nemo and Dory.
The Caribbean’s premier luxury dive and beach resort, Harbour Village Beach Club is located within an exclusive beachfront enclave on a four-acre, private peninsula. With open-air terraces and double hammocks, the resort’s 30 Dutch-Caribbean style rooms and suites are situated a few steps from the island’s only private, white-sand beach. Harbour Village is also home to the acclaimed La Balandra Restaurant and Bar, which gives the sensation of sailing into the Caribbean seascape with a dining deck located on a jetty extended out to sea, as well as The Spa – featuring the private Cascade Pool and a state-of-the-art fitness center. Harbour Village Beach Club was named Bonaire’s Leading Hotel nine times in the past decade and is Bonaire’s only member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World.
For more information on Harbour Village Beach Club, visit www.harbourvillage.com, email email@example.com or call 1-800-424-0004. To engage with the resort socially, visit Facebook.com/harbourvillagebonaire, find us on Twitter at @HarbourVillageB or on Instagram at @HarbourVillageBonaire.
*Based on availability; bookable only through direct sales via website or phone for a minimum of seven-night stays or more. Price is exclusive of 15% service charge and government tax of $6.50 per person, per night. Rates are subject to change, and room rates are per room, based on double occupancy; however, there is no charge for children 12 and under staying in their parent’s room sharing existing bedding. Space is limited.
A Decade of Awards for Harbour Village Beach Club, Bonaire
Bonaire, Dutch Antilles – Since 2004, Harbour Village Beach Club has been voted Bonaire's Leading Hotel on behalf of the prestigious World Travel Awards. World Travel Awards™ was established in 1993 to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the tourism industry. Today, the World Travel Awards™ brand is recognized globally as the ultimate hallmark of quality, with winners setting the benchmark to which all others aspire.
The World Travel Awards™ will celebrate its historic 22nd anniversary year.
General Manager, Andres Fermin, states, “We are honored to be recognized for over a decade by World Travel Awards. Our team strives for the highest level of guest service, and we work hard every year to promote what is quintessentially Bonaire, our pristine coral reefs. This year was no exception as we’ve recently installed webcams and nursery coral trees that allow ocean enthusiasts and students from around the world to learn and watch via a live feed how our new coral projects will nurture and sustain aquatic life for years to come.”
Divers can also participate in coral reef educational dives at Harbour Village, a founding member of the Coral Restoration Foundation in Bonaire, along with many other onsite activities to include: snorkeling, stand-up paddleboarding (SUP), kayaking, and more. Guests will also enjoy an exclusive beachfront enclave on the unspoiled Caribbean Island of Bonaire. Its well-appointed guest suites are nestled amid lush tropical gardens, just steps from its private, white-sand beach, and feature opulent décor and thoughtful details like secluded lanais and double hammocks. Amenities include a First Class 5 Star PADI Instructor Development Center offering onsite scuba classes and certification and a picturesque, 64-slip marina. The resort is also home to the acclaimed La Balandra restaurant, designed after an antique Spanish ship and giving the feeling of sailing with its dining deck located on a jetty extending out to sea, as well as a full-service spa offering professional reflexology, aromatherapy, therapeutic and relaxing couples massages. Harbour Village Beach Club was named Bonaire's Leading Hotel nine times in the past decade and is Bonaire's only member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World.
Located eighty-six miles east of Aruba, the island of Bonaire offers year round sunshine, low annual rainfall, and has been designated as having the most pristine coral reef environment and most species of fish in the Caribbean by the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration. The Reef Environmental Education Foundation lists eight out of almost 90 of Bonaire's dive sites in their top 10 in terms of species richness in the Caribbean -- abundant underwater life includes more than 300 species of tropical fish and over 120 different types of coral. The island was recently voted #1 in the Caribbean & Atlantic by readers of Scuba Diving magazine in categories that include Best Shore Diving (Snorkeling); Best Beginner Diving; Best Macro Diving; Best Advanced Diving, and Best Underwater Photography. Bonaire is able to maintain this environment and receive awards for diving year after year because its surrounding waters have been protected as the Bonaire National Marine Park for over 30 years.
Harbour Village Beach Club Installs Underwater Coral Reef Observation Cameras
A leader in efforts to promote and preserve the vibrant undersea life surrounding the Caribbean island of Bonaire, luxury dive and beach resort partners with Teens 4 Oceans to let students worldwide collect data and witness the vital role coral reefs play in stabilizing coastal ecosystems and supporting marine life.
Bonaire, Dutch Antilles – Already a leader in efforts to ensure that Bonaire’s vibrant coral reef system continues to thrive, Harbour Village Beach Club has installed an innovative underwater video and data monitoring system. The equipment will let students on the island and throughout the world gain field research experience, along with a deeper understanding of how important coral reefs are to healthy coastal ecosystems and the underwater creatures inhabiting them.
Harbour Village will work with the Teens 4 Oceans network and the group View Into the Blue to give students everywhere a way to view the fascinating marine life just off the resort’s sandy shore. Local programs such as the Junior Rangers, which Harbour Village helped become a new member of Teens4Oceans, now have the opportunity to use this state-of-the-art technology for aquatic research projects as well as connect with students in the United States and elsewhere to build communication and leadership skills through ocean stewardship.
Harbour Village is of particular interest to students and their marine science mentors, as the resort is home to a new set of coral trees installed last year in partnership with Coral Restoration Foundation Bonaire. The coral trees are managed by Great Adventures Bonaire (GAB), Harbour Village's on-site dive operator. The coral nursery has about 70 elkhorn and staghorn species maintained by the GAB staff for eventual transplant to the Harbour Village house reef.
The ability to monitor coral growth and marine life remotely and to record and 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, said .Jean-Marc Petin, General Manager of Harbour Village Beach Club.
“We are thrilled to be able to take another step to help preserve Bonaire’s amazing coral reef environment and share some of the projects we have underway,” Petin said. “We’re particularly excited about this program because of its direct impact on youth education and scientific research taking place on Bonaire and anywhere else on the planet.”
The system at Harbour Village includes two underwater cameras, one that rotates 360 degrees and also detects and measures environmental conditions that include the water’s pH, salinity, and temperature. Feed from this camera be viewed at http://content.viewintotheblue.com/streaming/screensavers/bonaire/ptz/. There is also a second, static underwater camera focused on the Coral Restoration Foundation nursery. It will be used for live demonstrations on how the coral growing process works that will be broadcast on the Teens4Oceans website.. General activity and fish behavior can be seen using this camera and used in studies on the Coral Restoration process. Feed from this camera can be viewed at http://content.viewintotheblue.com/streaming/screensavers/bonaire/static/.
For coral reef fans who are onsite, Harbour Village offers a range of programs highlighting the island’s marine life. These include regular Conservation Diver training courses at GAB to train volunteers who wish to contribute to coral preservation research on Bonaire. The resort also recently added a PADI Wreck Diver Specialty Course, which equips guests with the knowledge and skills to explore sunken vessels—often providing rich habitats to marine life.
Harbour Village Beach Club on Beautiful Bonaire Announces PADI Wreck Diving Course
Plunge into the fascinating world of wreck diving for an intriguing encounter with history and the rich aquatic life that inhabits the sites. The Caribbean’s premier luxury dive and beach resort, Harbor Village now offers a specialty course for divers age 15+ wanting to explore sunken vessels safely and responsibly.
Bonaire, Dutch Antilles –Whether sunken on purpose as an artificial reef for divers, or lost as the result of an accident, undersea wrecks are intriguing windows to the past. Ships, airplanes and even cars are fascinating to explore and usually teem with vibrant aquatic life. Each wreck dive offers a chance for adventure and discovery, potentially unlocking a mystery or spying something others have missed.
To equip them with the knowledge and skills to explore sunken vessels safely and responsibly, the Great Adventures Bonaire dive center at Harbour Village Beach Club now offers a PADI Wreck Diver Specialty Course - the course is the perfect addition to the resort’s full range of dive instruction offerings. There are several wreck diving sites located just off the shore of Harbour Village including the shipwreck of the 60-foot "Our Confidence,” located just 50 yards out from the beach a great spot for beginners that can even be seen by snorkelers from the surface. Another popular dive site, "Something Special,” is also a short swim away.
“This course will help guide and allow more people to explore these amazing underwater time capsules while being able to observe the most safe and responsible wreck diving practices,” said General Manager Jean-Marc Petin.
The course is open to guests age 15 and older who have earned a PADI Adventure Diver certification or higher. Participants may receive college credit for the Wreck Diver course. Students will learn about the many different types of wrecks, some of which are protected by laws that guard their historical and cultural significance. Topics covered include:
• Safety considerations for navigating and exploring wrecks.
• Surveying and mapping a wreck.
• Using penetration lines and reels to guide exploration.
• Techniques to avoid kicking up silt or disturbing the wreck and its inhabitants.
Bonaire is known for its incredible offshore diving and macro life, with its 30-plus years of environmental protection laws having made it home to some of the most well-preserved marine life in the world. But its warm crystal clear blue waters with near perfect visibility also make it an ideal location for wreck diving. To name just a few, famous Bonaire shipwrecks include:
Hilma Hooker - Built in Holland in 1951, this ship was caught with more than 25,000 pounds of marijuana hidden behind a false bulkhead. Impounded, she eventually took on water and slipped below the calm blue water on September 12, 1984, when her pumps gave out. Local dive operators cut cables, drilled holes in the side and opened hatches to make the Hilma Hooker a fun and safe dive site. Today, the ship is covered in beautiful layers of coral and sponge growth and houses numerous species of fish and invertebrates. She lies adjacent to an excellent reef, and her 65-foot bronze propeller is a landmark photo spot.
The Hesper - This wreck lies in in the sand 130 feet below the surface, where it is home to burgeoning colony of coral and sponge. The ship sunk during Hurricane Gilbert, which tore her from her moorings. At just 40 feet in length, the ill-fated sailboat provides a great opportunity for wide angle and macro photography, but watch for sharks napping in the sand alongside the vessel!
Mari Bahm (also known as the Windjammer) - The aptly named Mari Bahn, which means “Bonnie Mary” in Gaelic, is a beautiful old iron baroque with a 37-foot beam and an elegant triple-masted design. She sank in 1912 and now lies 200 feet below the surface of the island’s northwest coast. Divers will discover large pelagics in the ship’s deeper sections, plus an amazing array of invertebrates thriving among more than a century’s worth of coral growth.
Cooper’s Barge – Now coated with vibrantly colorful coral, sponge and countless invertebrates, this wreck lies in front of the Bonaire desalination plant. It can be dived when the overhead waters are free from tanker ships.
The Caribbean’s premier luxury dive and beach resort, Harbour Village Beach Club is located within an exclusive beachfront enclave on a four-acre, private peninsula. Its one- to five-bedroom suites and villas are situated a few steps from our private white sand beach and feature cozy amenities such as double hammocks. The resort is also home to the acclaimed La Balandra Restaurant, which gives the sensation of sailing into the Caribbean seascape with a dining deck located on a jetty extending out to sea, as well as The Spa at Harbour Village Beach Club. Harbour Village Beach Club was named Bonaire's Leading Hotel nine times in the past decade and is Bonaire's only member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World.
About Harbour Village Beach Club
Harbour Village Beach Club is located on a four-acre private peninsula with well-appointed villas nestled amid lush tropical gardens, a private white-sand beach, and an onsite First Class 5 Star PADI Dive Center catering to all ages and skill levels. Guests can explore dive sites just off Harbour Village’s shore, including the shipwreck of the 60-foot "Our Confidence,” located just 50 yards out from the beach a great spot for beginners that can even be seen by snorkelers from the surface. Another popular dive site, "Something Special,” is also a short swim away. The resort’s luxurious accommodations are situated just a few steps away from the beach and feature opulent décor and thoughtful details like secluded lanais and double hammocks. The resort is also home to the acclaimed La Balandra Restaurant, which gives the sensation of sailing into the Caribbean seascape with a dining deck located on a jetty extending out to sea, as well as The Spa at Harbour Village Beach Club. Harbour Village Beach Club was named Bonaire's Leading Hotel nine times in the past decade and is Bonaire's only member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World.
Bonaire’s Harbour Village Beach Club Launches Guided Stand-Up Paddleboard Tours
The Caribbean’s premier dive and beach resort now offers guests a chance to see the island from an exhilarating new perspective: floating atop glistening Caribbean waters on a Stand-Up Paddleboard.
Bonaire, Dutch Antilles – Combining one of the fastest growing fitness and recreation activities with one of the most beautiful seascapes in the Caribbean, Harbour Village Beach Club in Bonaire now offers guests Stand-Up Paddleboard (SUP) tours of the island’s northern coast.
A member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, Harbour Village Beach Club is located on a four-acre private peninsula with well-appointed villas nestled amid lush tropical gardens, a white sand beach, and an onsite First Class 5 Star PADI Instructor Development Center catering to all ages and skill levels.
The new, guided Stand-Up Paddleboard tours will let guests explore the beautiful northern coast of the main island of Bonaire and the picturesque Harbour Village marina while experiencing the fitness benefits of this increasingly popular activity. The one-hour tour is priced at $75 per person, and is limited to three people per tour so the expert guides from the resort’s dive shop can provide a personalized experience.
“This is a great tour for both experienced Stand-Up Paddleboarders and those trying it for the first time,” said Jean-Marc Petin, General Manager of Harbour Village Beach Club.
In addition to the SUP tours, the resort’s dive shop will add kayak tours to its already burgeoning list of offerings. For those interested in exploring below the surface, Harbour Village features diving packages for both certified and non-certified divers, along with some of the Caribbean’s best snorkeling opportunities. Due to Bonaire's leeward location outside of the hurricane belt, and its consistently pleasant climate, crystal-clear visibility prevails at any depth, giving an enthralling view of the undersea landscape. Guests can explore dive sites just off Harbour Village’s shore, including the shipwreck of the 60-foot "Our Confidence,” located just 50 yards out from the beach a great spot for beginners that can even be seen by snorkelers from the surface. Another popular dive site, "Something Special,” is also a short swim away.
Guests at Harbour Village also can participate in coral reef educational dives at Harbour Village, a founding member of the Coral Restoration Foundation in Bonaire, along with many other onsite activities. And after a full day of fun on and under the water, guests can relax in their luxurious accommodations, situated just a few steps away from the beach and feature opulent décor and thoughtful details like secluded lanais and double hammocks. The resort is also home to the acclaimed La Balandra Restaurant, which gives the sensation of sailing into the Caribbean seascape with a dining deck located on a jetty extending out to sea, as well as The Spa at Harbour Village Beach Club.
For more information on Bonaire and Harbour Village Beach Club, visit http://www.harbourvillage.com, call 1-800-424-0004, or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more. email@example.com
Harbour Village Beach Club Partners with Project AWARE
Caribbean’s premier luxury dive and beach resort joins global initiative led by divers to protect the vibrant undersea paradise surrounding the island of Bonaire and beyond.
Bonaire, Dutch Antilles –Further immersing itself in efforts to protect the undersea paradise that surrounds the Caribbean island of Bonaire and beyond, Harbour Village Beach Club has partnered with the global ocean conservation group Project AWARE.
For every scuba certification instruction course completed at the resort’s onsite Great Adventures Bonaire dive center, Harbour Village will donate $10 to Project AWARE, an international movement spearheaded by scuba divers striving to protect the ocean planet “one dive at a time.”
A member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, Harbour Village Beach Club is located on a four-acre private peninsula with well-appointed villas nestled amid lush tropical gardens, a white sand beach, a picturesque marina and an onsite PADI First Class 5 Star Instructor Development Dive Center catering to all ages and skill levels. The island of Bonaire was designated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as having the healthiest reefs in the Caribbean. Due to the island’s leeward location outside of the hurricane belt, and its consistently pleasant climate, crystal-clear visibility prevails at any depth and gives an enthralling view of the undersea landscape.
The resort hosted a Project AWARE “Dive Against Debris” program last September to coincide with World Clean-Up Day. Seventeen divers, 2 snorkelers and a dinghy captain removed 330 pounds of trash from the waters of the resort’s marina and the popular dive site “Something Special” located just off the resort’s shore.
“Harbour Village is proud to join dedicated dive centers across the world that act locally and think globally,” said Jean-Marc Petin, General Manager of Harbour Village Beach Club. “We take pride in knowing that our donation to Project AWARE for every student diver who completes a diving course with us not only helps educate divers about ocean conservation but also supports Project AWARE’s mission to mobilize the world’s divers into a global force to protect the ocean one dive at a time.”
A founding member of the Coral Restoration Foundation in Bonaire and recipient of the Islands Magazine/Caribbean Tourism Organization Sustainable Tourism Award, Harbour Village also hosts a coral nursery along its beach and offers guided dives showing how to care for new corals. Later this year when corals are ready to be re-planted, the resort’s dive center will launch a new Coral Restoration Specialty certification course.
All student divers who complete a course at the dive center will receive a Project AWARE limited edition card to remind them that the place where they learned to dive or furthered their diving education made possible a gift to protect the ocean on their behalf.
For more information on Bonaire and Harbour Village Beach Club, visit the luxury hotel's website at http://www.harbourvillage.com/ or call 1-800-424-0004. For additional information about Project AWARE’s 100% AWARE Partner program, visit www.projectaware.org.
Become a “Coral Lover” at Harbour Village Beach Club
As part of its efforts to help lead the way in restoring some of the Caribbean’s most spectacular reefs, beachfront Bonaire resort will offer new guided educational dives that let guests help introduce and nurture new coral colonies.
Bonaire, Dutch Antilles – Guests at Harbour Village Beach Club already enjoy seeing and exploring vibrant coral reefs just off the idyllic resort’s sandy shore. Soon, they can also learn how to help maintain and care for new reefs with a guided, onsite dive experience that will also raise funds for coral conservation.
A founding member of the Coral Restoration Foundation in Bonaire, Harbour Village Beach Club will receive 10 elkhorn and staghorn corals that will grow on 5 trees in the next few weeks to add to existing corals in the shallow waters near the resort’s beach. These two types of coral, with antler-like structures that create habitats for many other sea creatures, are among the most important reef-building corals in the Caribbean.
The corals to be installed at Harbour Village have been nurtured on Bonaire by the Coral Restoration Foundation Bonaire. They were either salvaged from ailing coral structures to be re-grown or broken coral that is found and will die if not cared for.
The dive masters at Harbour Village’s onsite scuba and snorkel shop, Great Adventures Bonaire, are training to become “coral lovers,” as reef conservationists are called. As part of this, they are learning to install, care for and monitor the new and transplanted corals, which can grow up to five centimeters every six months. They will then show guests participating in the educational dives how to hang the coral on the trees and to clean and maintain corals.
“We want to give everyone the opportunity to participate in helping these beautiful and important undersea habitats continue to thrive,” said Jean-Marc Petin, General Manager of Harbour Village Beach Club. Proceeds from the $45 per-person fee will go to the Coral Restoration Foundation Bonaire.
Harbour Village Beach Club is located on a four-acre private peninsula on the Caribbean island of Bonaire, recipient of the Islands Magazine/Caribbean Tourism Organization Sustainable Tourism Award. It was designated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as having the healthiest reefs in the Caribbean. For 19 consecutive years in Scuba Diving magazine’s annual Readers’ Choice Awards, Bonaire has been named the top Shore Diving destination in the Caribbean/Atlantic. This year, it was voted one of the Best Destinations Overall--the very best for Marine and Macro life, and for Snorkeling in the Reader’s Choice Awards.
Due to the island’s leeward location outside of the hurricane belt, and its consistently pleasant climate, crystal-clear visibility prevails at any depth and gives an enthralling view of the undersea landscape. The resort offers dive courses for all ages and levels, in addition to unique programs such as florescence night diving, allowing guests to use special UV lights to see the astounding array of florescent colors emitted by underwater animals and corals. In addition to coral reefs, Harbour Village guests can explore dive sites just off shore that include the shipwreck of the 60-foot "Our Confidence," located just 50 yards out.
For more information on Bonaire and Harbour Village Beach Club, visit the luxury hotel's website at http://www.harbourvillage.com/ or call 1-800-424-0004.
HARBOUR VILLAGE WELCOMES SPECIAL GUEST: ENDANGERED SEA TURTLE LAYS NEST ON BEACH
Resort works with Bonaire conservationists to set up live web cam and nightly watch to document the hatching, expected to take place in early September.
Mother turtle believed to have hatched in same location nearly two decades ago.
Bonaire, Dutch Antilles - Humans aren't the only ones drawn to Harbour Village Beach Club' serene, sandy shore. The resort recently welcomed what scientists believe is a repeat guest: a critically endangered Hawksbill sea turtle, who laid a nest of about 100 eggs near where it likely hatched 17 years ago.
The hatchlings are expected to emerge from the eggs and scramble through the sand and into the sea between September 5 - 15. To capture the moment and help educate people about these magnificent creatures, Harbour Village is working with Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire to set up a live web cam and nightly watches near the nest beginning the week of August 18. Updates will be posted at http://www.harbourvillage.com/turtlecam.html.
"This is something we want to share not only with our guests but with everyone interested in learning about sea turtles and how we can help protect them," said Jean-Marc Petin, General Manager of Harbour Village Beach Club. "We will catch the hatching live on camera, and Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire will provide volunteers to sit with the nest each evening around hatching time to document the event and notify guests when to come and watch the turtles come out of the nest."
Harbour Village Beach Club is located on a four-acre private peninsula on Bonaire's mainland. The nest, currently marked and roped off so as not to be disturbed, is located near the resort's dive shop.
Bonaire is home to three of the seven species of sea turtles in the world: hawksbills, green turtles and loggerheads. Hawksbill turtles weigh up to 185 pounds and prefer calm, tropical waters near coral reefs. They come ashore only to nest. The turtle who laid the nest at Harbour Village came onto the beach on July 12. A Hawksbill turtle laid her eggs near the same spot in 1997. Since sea turtles usually return to next where they hatched to nest, local scientists believe the turtle was likely one of those hatchlings.
In addition to sea turtles, the Caribbean waters surrounding Bonaire teems with a wide variety of marine life. The island is designated as having the most pristine
coral reef environment and most species of fish in the Caribbean by the NOAA and is consistently named Best Overall Dive Destination by Scuba Diving Magazine's Reader's Choice Awards. Due to the island's leeward location outside of the hurricane belt, and its consistently pleasant climate, crystal-clear visibility prevails at any depth and gives an enthralling view of the undersea landscape. On land, Bonaire is also home to the world's largest pink flamingo nesting grounds.
Dive sites just off Harbour Village's shore include the shipwreck of the 60-foot "Our Confidence," located just 50 yards out, while another popular dive site, "Something Special," is also a short swim away. The resort also offers florescence night diving, allowing guests to use special UV lights to see the astounding array of florescent colors emitted by underwater animals and corals.