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Bonaire Marine Park
The Bonaire Marine Park was founded in 1979 in an effort to protect the island's most precious natural resource. Covering an area of less than 700 acres, the park includes all the waters around the island from the high-water mark to the 60-meter depth. Legislation prevents collecting (or even walking on) coral, using spearguns, or removing marine life. It also means that boats may not drop anchor in most of the island's waters and that divers may not use gloves unless they're needed for ascending or descending a line.
Because the island has so zealously protected its marine environment, Bonaire offers an amazing diversity of underwater life. Turtles, rays, and fish of every imaginable color abound in the pristine waters of the park. The charge ($10 for swimmers and snorkelers, $25 for divers) for a swimming or diving tag allows unlimited use of the park for a year, and every cent goes toward the care and management of the Bonaire Marine Park. It's money well spent, islanders and most visitors will tell you.
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