Coral Restoration Foundation Bonaire is a non-profit organization founded in 2012, when Ken Nedimeyer of CRF USA was invited to visit the island to work with and assist Bonaire with their continued efforts to preserve Bonaire’s greatest assets, its coral reefs. Recognizing that the massive decline of coral reefs is not unique to the Florida Keys, Bonaire, or even the Caribbean, CRF USA created a mission centered on educating, inspiring, and empowering people around the world to be proactive and make a difference on their own coral reefs.
In February 2012, the Bonaire government together with the Bonaire National Marine Park, granted a permit to a local dive operator to start the CRF Bonaire Pilot Project. The project centered on the restoration of the shallow reefs by establishing Staghorn and Elkhorn coral nurseries and restoration sites and still does today. The project started with just a few corals in one nursery on Bonaire and has grown each year every since. Today, over 12,000 corals are grown in the CRFB nurseries and over 14,000 corals have been transplanted back to Bonaire’s reefs.
In 2015, CRF Bonaire joined forces with CRF to help establish the new CRF Curacao project. Once the initial set-up was completed, CRF Curacao had a new coral nursery filled with 10 different genotypes of both Staghorn and Elkhorn corals. CRF Bonaire has continued to help and collaborate with neighbors at CRF Curacao as both organizations grow.
The mission of the Coral Restoration Foundation Bonaire is to develop affordable, effective strategies for protecting and restoring the shallow water population of staghorn and elkhorn corals along the coastlines of Bonaire and Klein Bonaire. CRF Bonaire, supported by the local government and the Bonaire Marine Park is developing a large scale reef restoration program, promoting awareness and engaging tourists and local volunteers.