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The biggest voluntourism project has been given a major boost with news of an initiative to further protect its coral reef.
More than 1,000 volunteers – visitors and locals – are expected to gather on the island’s beaches on September 19 for the annual Aruba Reef Care Project.
Their efforts to scour the beaches and dive and snorkel various sites in a massive clean-up effort are now being supported by a newly-opened coral nursery in Aruba. This innovative project is funded by Aloe Aruba, the island’s major producer of aloe-based skin care and beauty products.
They are partnering Scubble Bubbles, a local youth diving group focussed on helping to restore the coral reefs of Aruba. Aloe Aruba, whose products include a coral reef-safe mineral sunscreen, has funded the building of the coral nursery in Savaneta in south-east Aruba – a historic location and the capital of Aruba until 1797.
Coral nurseries are bases where coral reef fragment can be rehabilitated and nursed back to maturity before being transplanted back out onto the reef – a task which will be undertaken by Scubble Bubble members.
The Aruba Reef Care Project is the best-known and largest volunteer environmental initiative on the island. Launched in 1994, it is supported by public and private sector businesses. It raises awareness of the importance of preserving the marine environment and volunteers gladly give up a few hours of their day to pick up any debris. Anyone interested in helping can contact Castro Perez by email on firstname.lastname@example.org; Facebook – Reef Care Aruba
Similarly, an annual National Coastal Clean-Up Day is held every November, when Aruba’s beaches and coastline are filled with volunteers making a clean sweep.