Buddy Dive Bonaire Announces Coral Restoration and Growth Program
(DiverWire.com) – During their yearly visit at Buddy in September, Ned & Anna Deloach (FishID books) pointed out a very interesting project being executed by Ken Nedimyer, president of the Coral Restoration Foundation. The meeting resulted in Buddy Dive, a popular resort for recreational scuba divers, inviting Ken Nedimyer for a visit to Bonaire to look for possibilities to adapt the program in Bonaire.
In 2007, Nedimyer formed the Coral Restoration Foundation Inc, a non profit company focused on developing simple, effective, and inexpensive offshore coral nursery and coral restoration techniques that could be duplicated anywhere. Their offshore Staghorn coral nursery has grown from five corals that settled on his rock in 1996, to over 3500 corals in March of 2009, and expected to grow to over 7,000 corals by spring of 2010. In 2008 they planted over 200 nursery grown corals back onto the reef, currently about 600 nursery grown corals have been planted on the Florida reefs.
In 2009, Ken received permits to start two offshore Elkhorn coral nurseries, the first of their kind in the U.S., and he and volunteer divers were busy setting it up this past year. 2010 will bring new and exciting challenges for CRF along with plenty of reef restoration, outreach, and volunteer programs. In the future Ken will expand the offshore nursery techniques with other corals.
In the week, Nedimyer was on Bonaire, Augusto Montbrun, Buddy Dive operations manager took Ken and his family diving and showed him the current situation. Although the Bonaire deeper reefs are still some of the best in the world, Ken definitely came to conclusion that his Coral Restoration project could make a big difference, especially on the shallow reefs. The current technique has proven itself for several years already in the Florida Keys and will help the shallow reefs in Bonaire recover more quickly. After thorough investigation and meetings with the stakeholders it appears that everybody agrees that this unique program should start as soon as possible. Currently, Nedimyer and Buddy Dive are now waiting for the final ok to start the first pilot nurseries on Bonaire!
Ken Nedimyer: “Bonaire definitely has great potential to adapt our program and we are looking forward to working on this project together so we can preserve and rebuild one of the finest reefs in the Caribbean”
Augusto Montbrun: “It is with great pride that we announce the birth of “The Buddy Dive Coral Restoration Program”. Together with CRF we will start to work on strengthening our coral reefs. It is expected that soon after the first setup many others will follow us and join the Coral Restoration program.”