Award of Excellence
The Sacramento Bee
Orange sponges and reef fishes in Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles on Wednesday, June 3, 2009. The reef system surrounding the island of Bonaire is protected as part of the Bonaire National Marine Park and boasts the greatest diversity of fish species in the entire Atlantic/Caribbean with well over 300 different species. Conservation efforts to maintain the health of the island's reef system has made Bonaire one of the world's top destinations for scuba divers. Unlike most other dive destinations, divers must attend an hour-long briefing and pay a fee before they are allowed to dive. Bonaire's success at protecting the health of its reef system has become a model around the world.