The Support Bonaire News - 2004-11-23
Dear Friends of Support Bonaire,
Greetings from Support Bonaire! The holidays are almost upon, as is the end of 2004, and we would like to wrap up with more news from Bonaire.
Here are this newsletter's topics:
- A Banner Year
- Sea Turtle Conservations Bonaire Tracks More Turtles
- A Perfect Project For You!
- Project Updates
- Join Members of the Board for a BBQ on Bonaire
A Banner Year
We'd like to take a moment this season reflect on the wonderful outpouring of generosity and to thank all our supporters who have contributed so generously during the past year. Through the beginning of December, we have received and passed on almost $19,000 in donations from generous donors to a variety of projects on Bonaire. The projects and organizations we support work steadfastly, day in and day out, to improve the lives of Bonaire's young children, promote the island's rich history and culture, and provide for the protection and well being of the island’s environment and animals. Your contributions make a difference, each and every day, to their important work on the island. Thank you!
As the island's busy visitor season approaches and 2004 draws to a close, we humbly ask your continued support of a favorite charity, whose work we support on Bonaire. Help us make this a truly banner year!
Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire Tracks More Turtles.
We're pleased to highlight the wonderful achievements of Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire in this issue of our newsletter. Here's their latest report:
2004 has been a very busy and successful year thus far for Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire (STCB) and the sea turtles that live around or visit Bonaire. To date, we have recorded over 100 nests for the nesting season that is just drawing to a close. Over the year, we have tagged 85 sea turtles and recorded and studied 17 sea turtles that were tagged last year. Since data about size, weight, etc. are recorded for each turtle tagged, we will soon be able to start analyzing the new data on the recaptured turtles and comparing it to the data from last year.
The highlight of the year has been our turtle satellite tracking program. We have fitted four sea turtles with transmitters and achieved a number of firsts for Bonaire. Last year, we tracked two female Hawksbills. This year we tracked or are in the process of tracking a female Loggerhead, a male Hawksbill, a female Hawksbill, and a female Green turtle. The Loggerhead and Green turtles traveled back to their home feeding grounds off coast of Honduras and Nicaragua. Each covered over 2100 kilometers in the course of their journeys. Unfortunately we lost the signal from the male Hawksbill before he reached his final destination. He was headed in the general direction of Saba. As of the start of December, the female Hawksbill is still with us and will, in all likelihood, lay another nest before departing from Bonaire.
The satellite tracking program has generated a great deal of excitement in Bonaire, as well as on Curacao and in Holland. The program was even covered in the Dutch edition of the National Geographic! Owing, in part, to interest in the program, the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) was able to secure a grant for an outreach and educational program on sea turtle conservation. The program will reach all the islands of the Netherlands Antilles with the exception of Curacao. Here on Bonaire, the program was launched officially on November 1 and will continue for the next 14 months. STCB is working closely with DCNA and STINAPA on the effort.
For more information on Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire, please visit the STCB website at www.bonaireturtles.org. Be sure to click on the links to 'Nest Counter' and 'Turtle Tracking'.
A Perfect Project for You!
What are some of the projects we support that are making a difference on Bonaire? In 2004, we sponsored specific work at eight charitable organizations on Bonaire.
Bonaire Animal Shelter. Medicine, food, and shelter for animals in the Shelter’s care. Support Bonaire donors provided funds to support for the Shelter’s successful drive to sterilize dogs that roam freely on the island as a way to control the growing number of unwanted and sickly animals.
Bonaire Donkey Sanctuary. Medicine, food, and shelter for donkeys living at the Sanctuary. Support Bonaire donors helped the Sanctuary purchase adjacent land to expand the amount of open space and suitable habitat for the animals.
Bonaire National Marine Park. Supplies and equipment for scientific work and park patrols. Our donors provided funds to support the Marine’s Park youth snorkeling and educational programs.
Fondashon pa Bon Koral (Coral Resource Management). Training, expertise, tools, and information to support coral reef conservation on Bonaire. Our donors provided support to the Foundation’s work to designate reefs in and around Bonaire as a UNESCO transboundary marine World Heritage Site.
Foundation for the Preservation of Klein Bonaire. The purchase and protection of Klein Bonaire. Support Bonaire sponsored the Foundation’s work to raise awareness and raise funds to complete the purchase and ultimately, protection, of Klein Bonaire and its reefs as part of Bonaire’s National Marine Park. Due to the success of the Foundation’s fundraising drive, it has requested future donations be directed to one of the other charities on the island.
Maria Hoppner Foundation. Shelter and services for the orphaned, abused, or abandoned children on Bonaire. Read more about Maria Hoppner’s innovative new education project in our previous issue on our web site, http://www.supportbonaire.org!
Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire (STCB). Sea turtle monitoring, research, and protection activities. Donors provided funds to help STCB purchase and install turtle monitoring devices that will contribute to studying and understanding marine turtle migration patterns, as well as support local research efforts in the areas of nesting and behavior.
Stichting voor Kunst en Cultuur van Bonaire (Foundation for Bonaire Art & Culture). Supplies and equipment that support the Foundation's promotion of Bonairean art and culture. The Foundation sponsors the island's annual Art Day, providing a venue and exposure for many of the island's artists.
Generous donations were also made to Wowo di Bario, Jong Bonaire, and Mangasine di Rei.
Please visit our website at http://www.SupportBonaire.org for information about these organizations.
In each issue of The Support Bonaire Newsletter, we'll include selected updates about activities, achievements, and special needs of the selected projects we sponsor.
Maria Hoppner Reopens Foster Home for Girls
Support Bonaire would like to thank all of those who have contributed to the Maria Hoppner Foster Home Project. Your help makes a difference in the lives of needy and orphaned children, especially around the holidays. Your gifts can help make a difference in the lives of these boys and girls.
The Foundation has recently reopened Villa Carlos, its foster home and accommodations for young girls. Villa Candidas houses young boys. Annual operating expenses for Villa Carlos run approximately $268,000 USD (Naf 475,000). The Island Government of Bonaire does not subsidize Maria Hoppner so contributions are an vital source of income to keep its foster homes for boys and girls open.
Bonaire Donkey Sanctuary Expands
The Bonaire Donkey Sanctuary now has 300 donkeys in residence – a big jump from 100 the year before! This past year, the Sanctuary sponsored an island wide donkey round-up, ringing animals that could be subjected to injuries, disease, or abuse to the Sanctuary for safe haven and care. With fewer donkeys roaming uncontrolled around the island, road accidents have declined significantly – with none reported in the last eight weeks!
Generous contributions have helped the Sanctuary purchase adjacent land to provide more protected space for the donkeys. In the coming weeks, the Sanctuary plans to close on a final 22 hectares of land – reaching their goal of purchasing 100 new hectares of land! Of that, 78 hectares is fenced and open to the donkeys.
The Donkey Sanctuary plans to open its new Safari Park drive through in February – March, 2005. The drive through park will provide a new experience for visitors to see and learn about the donkeys as they live in their natural habitat. Special needs include the Adopt a Donkey program, additional power generating equipment, and visitor support materials.
Bonaire National Marine Park Enhances Youth Snorkeling Program.
The Bonaire National Markine Park and Nature and Environment Education, STINAPA sponsor the "Turtuganan di Boneiru" youth snorkeling program.
In 2004, the "Turtuganan di Boneiru" snorkeling program has been enhanced with improved content and an expanded structure. The new program is currently spread over a 5 week period, and consists of 5 classroom sessions and 5 practical snorkeling sessions. The program is offered throughout the school year to all six primary schools on Bonaire. In the past the snorkel course was given over a period of 5 days with the main focus on snorkeling techniques and fish and coral ID. While the latter is still a main part of the program, the 5 additional lessons built into the program offer the kids a greater opportunity to learn more about the underwater world of Bonaire and its marine life. The following subjects have been built into the program on classroom days:
- Week 1, theory: Introduction snorkel program and subject "Turtuganan" is discussed, using the BNMP educational/activity box: TURTUGA
- Week 2, theory: subject "Reef fish" is discussed, with assignments from the teacher's guide and the yellow work book "Turtuganan di Boneiru"
- Week 3, theory: subject "Coral" is discussed, using the BNMP educational/activity box: KORAL and assignments from the yellow workbook.
- Week 4, theory: subjects "Lac, Mangroves and Karko" are discussed, using the BNMP educational/activity box: KARKO, the teacher's guide and the yellow work book for assignments
- Week 5, theory: art and craft class on marine related subjects
In 2003 and 2004, the snorkel program was offered to all primary schools of Bonaire, as part of their after school activities program, SKOL DI BARIO. A total of 40 kids received their certification in 2003. And, so far in 2004, approximately another 40 kids received their certificate!
Stichting voor Kuunst en Cultuur van Bonaire Seeks Tents.
The Stichting Voor Kunst en Cultuur van Bonaire (Foundation for Art & Culture on Bonaire) has announced that the date of the annual Bonaire Dia di Arte (Day of Art), will be Sunday, July 3, 2005, at the Wilhelmina Plein.
Dia di Arte is an annual celebration of the visual and performing arts, combined with Bonaire's unique culture.
As the recipient organization for the Support Bonaire Art & Culture Project, the Stichting Voor Kunst en Cultuur van Bonaire is still looking for financial support for portable tents it can use to allow local Bonairean artists to display their works during Dia di Arte and at other events on the island without suffering damage from the sun and weather. The cost of each tent is approximately $300.00 U.S., and a dozen tents are needed.
Join Members of the Board for a BBQ on Bonaire
Every year on January 1st, two of the members of the Support Bonaire Board of Directors open their home to old friends, friends of friends, and strangers alike for a potluck barbecue. If you, as a Friend of Support Bonaire, should find yourself on Bonaire at the beginning of the new year, you're invited to join the Richters and other members of the Support Bonaire Board of Directors at the Richters' home to meet other fans of Bonaire, and partake of an enjoyable way to start the new year.
Their home is at Kaya R. Statius van Eps 17 - the road from Belnem to Sorobon. For directions, call them at 717-6773, or drop them a note at firstname.lastname@example.org - the BBQ starts at 3pm on New Year's Day and continues on into the night. Children and families are welcome.
In closing, we wish you all a happy holiday season and all the best in 2005!
The Support Bonaire Board of Directors