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SCUBA Pioneer Dr. Sylvia Earle to Receive Bonaire Lifetime Achievement Award

SylviaEarleDr. Sylvia Earle, known as the Ambassador to the world’s oceans, will add another accolade to her impressive array of honors when Bonaire’s first “Lifetime Achievement Award” is bestowed upon her. The award will be made during Celebrate Our Planet Week this summer, August 15-22, 2009, as a highlight week of the Bonaire Dive Into Summer festivities.

At a gala evening event at the Governor’s Residence on Wednesday, August 19, 2009, Dr. Earle will be honored and thanked for her lifetime of dedication to education and conservation of the world’s natural resources.  The island’s “Lifetime Achievement Award” is granted to “acknowledge exceptional efforts throughout one’s lifetime to preserve and protect nature, both above and below the water’s surface.”

Also while on Bonaire, Dr. Earle will lead a series of themed dives and activities and will participate in several on-island events designed to highlight Bonaire’s continued leadership in sustainable tourism.

From Dr. Earle’s early years, her parents fostered in her the respect of wild creatures and not to fear the unknown.  Throughout her teen and college years, Dr. Earle’s fascination with the natural world continued to grow, and it was in Florida where Dr. Earle first learned to scuba dive, as a tool to better assist her in the first-hand study of marine life.

Today Dr. Earle is Explorer in Residence at the National Geographic Society. She has recently led the Google Ocean Advisory Council, which is a team of 30 marine scientists who provide content and scientific oversight for the “Ocean in Google Earth.” In her astonishing career, Dr. Earle has led over 400 expeditions, logging more than 7000 hours underwater, and she has received more than 100 national and international honors, including Time magazine’s first “Hero for the Planet” in 1998.  She is a Knight in the Netherlands’ Order of the Golden Ark.  Dr. Earl has authored more than 125 publications regarding marine science and technology.

“The government and people of Bonaire are deeply gratified that Dr. Earle has honored the island by accepting our first “Lifetime Achievement Award” said Ronella Tjin Asjoe-Croes, Director of Tourism. “Dr. Earle’s lifetime endeavors to save and protect the world’s natural areas so closely mirrors the commitment of Bonaire’s people and government that her selection as the first honoree was an easy choice.” she concluded.

“As a result of the island’s commitment to conservation, Bonaire continues to be named a #1 dive destination in the Caribbean and Atlantic, and continues to enjoy the reputation as a world leader and pioneer in the area of sustainable tourism, a basic tenet of Bonaire’s tourism product,” remarked Pancratio Cicilia, Commissioner of Tourism.

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, land sailing, horseback riding, nature tours, hiking, bird watching, sailing and deep 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.

For more information on Bonaire contact the Tourism Corporation Bonaire in the U.S. at 1-800-BONAIRE or visit Bonaire’s official web site at


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