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A Journey of 1000 Steps: Learning Coral Biology!

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The view from the top of 1000 Steps, a popular dive site and where we will do the coral ID snorkel!

By Alyssa Wijnand

    Today we started our day with a nice breakfast of burritos prepared by Cassidy and James. After that everyone got ready for our coral biology class on the other side of the street in the CIEE classroom. In class we learned a lot about how the coral really functions. For example that coral isn't a rock but a living creature. Then we got a 15 minute break to get snacks and drinks and went back to class and did some quizzes. After lunch we went to 1000 Steps and had a really nice snorkel. While we were snorkeling John and Ajay asked us to identify the corals that they have pointed out for us. After the snorkel we got to have a very nice swim. After dinner we had a cupcake competition. The challenge was who could make the best polyp cupcake and a good explanation with it. The winners of the cupcake battle where Wendi and Eric. 

Editors note- Alyssa is a Bonaire local, participating in STINAPA's Junior Ranger Program. STINAPA is a non-profit organization that is in charge of conserving the natural beauty and habitats of the island. We are glad to have her in the program!
 
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Program Leaders Ajay and John lead students in an interactive coral identification session.
 
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A rare sight in the Caribbean- healthy Staghorn Coral (Acropora cervicornis)! Students got the opportunity to see this essential reef builder for themselves and learn about their condition in the region. 

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