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Bonaire is one of the most well-known dive destinations for macro photography.  Image by Bonaire's Ellen Muller.

The Bonaire National Marine Park is managed by STINAPA.

The Bonaire National Marine Park was established in 1979. The park starts at the high water mark and extends to 200 ft (60 meters) of depth; it covers an area of 6672 acres or 27 km².

The mission of the Bonaire National Marine Park.

The mission of the Bonaire National Marine Park (BNMP) is to protect and manage the island’s natural, cultural and historical resources, while allowing ecologically sustainable use, for the benefit of future generations.

The reefs around Bonaire form a narrow fringing reef, which begins practically at the shoreline and extends to a maximum of 984 feet (300m) offshore. The whole area is protected as part of the Bonaire National Marine Park and legislation ensures wise use of the island’s coral reefs, seagrass, and mangroves.  Nearly 60 species of coral can be found on the reefs, but they do vary by habitat.

Rules & Regulations of the Bonaire National Marine Park.

 

Or download the official Rules & Regulations in PDF format.

Lac Bay, a Ramsar site.

Lac, an open bay on the windward shore, is the main lagoon area with mangroves and seagrasses. All other lagoon areas are landlocked, being closed off from the sea by a coral rubble barrier, and have therefore formed hyper-saline environments (saliñas).  While it is possible to access shore sites on the leeward side of Bonaire all year round, conditions on the windward side are more unpredictable.  The park can claim the home of two RAMSAR sites–Lac and Klein Bonaire.

User fees for Bonaire’s park system.

The entry fee to scuba dive within the marine park is $45.00 per person, which also provides free entrance into Washington-Slagbaii National Park.  All other users of the marine park–snorkelers, windsurfers, swimmers, kiteboarders, those who are kayaking, or any other water sports users–are obligated to purchase the $25.00 nature fee tag. The park is managed under the auspices of STINAPA, the foundation which manages Bonaire’s park system.

The Bonaire Marine Park

The fringing reef which surrounds Bonaire is a National Marine Park from the high water mark down to a depth of 200 feet/60m. Every diver who has not dived on Bonaire within the last calendar year must attend a diver orientation dealing with Bonaire Marine Park regulations and information. These orientation sessions are usually held at around 9:00 AM the morning after you arrive on Bonaire, and you are required to attend and to obtain your Marine Park tag, which is necessary to legally dive in Bonaire’s waters. The cost of the tag is US$45.00, and proceeds help support park management and services. Those who are utilizing the Marine Park, but are not diving, will be required to purchase a Nature Tag for $25.00.  The nature tag can be purchased online.

Purchase your STINAPA Nature Fee online.

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