A key focus of STCB is public education. Each year, STCB organizes a minimum of 24 public presentations. Our goal is to educate the general public about endangered sea turtles and their habitats. An essential part of endangered species conservation is simply to help people to understand the species and their importance, not only to their habitat, but to our lives as well. Additionally, we provide presentations for school groups, and bi-lingual tours/presentations upon request.
In 2011 Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire (STCB) led a pilot project using sea turtle topics to motivate students in Dutch language teaching. STCB partnered with the Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network (WIDECAST), the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) and Scholen Gemeenschap Bonaire (SGB) staff. The project used a Dutch language teacher handbook and student workbook to introduce science-based lessons on Caribbean sea turtles. This project was a big success and the positive response of students to the pilot class convinced SGB teachers and administrators to extend the project to include as many Dutch language classes as possible. DCNA provided essential funding for the project as well as technical assistance that included consultation, graphic design and printing of the full-color, large-format books. One of the outcomes is this educational sea turtle book for students.
We encourage teachers to make use of these materials, which you can download here (NL), and incorporate sea turtles and marine biology into their curriculum standards. We hope that these fun lesson plans will help children relate to sea turtles and apply basic principles of conservation to their daily lives.
STCB is also happy to accommodate groups with a minimum of 10 attendees for bespoke presentations or tours. Reservation is required and a donation may be requested. To book a group presentation/activity, or for more information, please send an email to email@example.com.
Craft Workshop for Kids
STCB organizes several craft workshops for the young people of Bonaire each year. Children receive a presentation in Papiamentu, Dutch or English. After the presentation, and after STCB answers many questions from the youngsters, we offer a creative workshop where children can custom paint wooden turtle templates. These wooden figures are donated by a dedicated STCB volunteer.
Learning by Doing
Since 2015 we offer the opportunity for you to join us on our nest monitoring and in-water surveys. In return we ask for a fee which will be used to support the programs.
Joining us on a nest monitoring patrol means that you will be taken by STCB staff and/or volunteers on our boat to Klein Bonaire. You will need to step off and on the boat at Klein Bonaire into shallow water with your possessions, and you will have to carry any items you take onshore for the duration of the trip. You will be walking along the 2km (1.25 mile) beach with us (4km or 2.5miles total walk) looking for turtle tracks, both from adult females coming on shore to lay their nests and also (after July) from newly hatched sea turtles (hatchlings).
We will explain what to look out for at the beginning of the walk so that you can learn more about our work. Obviously we cannot guarantee that there will be any sea turtle activity during these walks, that’s nature! For this trip we request a contribution of 40USD per adult and 20USD for children under 12. Residents (with ID) will get a 50% discount. Reservations are required so please send an email to Dr. Sue Willis firstname.lastname@example.org.
Each year STCB undertakes snorkel surveys around the north, west and south coasts of Bonaire (between Malmok and Willemstoren lighthouses) and around the whole of Klein Bonaire. The survey is done in sections, each survey lasting approximately an hour and 2-3 surveys are completed each survey day. Survey days typically last from 8am till 5pm. These surveys have been done for 12 years to the same protocols and have provided much valuable research data for STCB. During each survey staff and volunteer surveyors form a line and swim slowly at right angles to the coast, maintaining the line formation while looking for sea turtles.
When a turtle is spotted the survey stops and trained turtle catchers will catch the turtle by hand, when possible. The captured turtle will be put into the boat and the survey will continue until the end of the hour-long session. There will typically be an hour’s rest break between each survey. It is possible to come along for a day to experience first hand what we do. Places are limited and for this we ask for a donation of $80 per person. Contact us to reserve a place by sending an email to email@example.com