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Carl Roessler to receive Bonaire's Lifetime Achievement Award

Bonaire Pays Tribute to Mr. Roessler as a Pioneer of the Dive Travel Industry &


Kralendijk, Bonaire - Tourism Corporation Bonaire is pleased to announce Carl Roessler will become the third North American recipient to receive Bonaire's prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award. A panel of distinguished media chose Mr. Roessler after long deliberations on several candidates.

Mr. Roessler will travel to Bonaire during the island's Bonaire Lifetime Achievement Award Week, from August 20 - 27, 2011, a highlight week of the Bonaire Dive Into Summer Program.

'It's an honor to have Mr. Roessler as the recipient of our Bonaire Lifetime Achievement Award and back on the island again,' commented Ms. Lara Chirino, Director of Tourism for Tourism Corporation Bonaire. 'The dedication and hard work that Carl put into protecting Bonaire's marine life while he lived here and as he continued on in his lifetime, contributed to where Bonaire is today. He helped lay the ground work for Bonaire to be consistently recognized as one of the top scuba diving destinations in the world.'

During his stay in Bonaire, Mr. Roessler will lead various seminars available to visitors and residents on oceanography and photography and will share his knowledge and experience through myriad activities. He will be accompanied by his family and will be hosted by Captain Don's Habitat Bonaire.

Mr. Roessler is an internationally recognized, and acclaimed, pioneer of the dive-travel industry. He has had a long standing commitment to protect and promote Bonaire. He opened numerous international dive locations to western dive tourists. His services to dive tourism, underwater photography, and his ethical standards of developing environmentally sensitive diving, have been recognized by induction into The International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame, and the NOGI Award from the Academy of Underwater Arts & Sciences.

With his long time friend Captain Don Stewart, Mr. Roessler was one of the earliest voices promoting sustainable diving on Bonaire. His history with Bonaire dates back to early 1969 when Mr. Roessler brought regularly scheduled groups of divers who were oriented to photography on diving excursions to Bonaire. During those early years, he and Captain Don Stewart actively encouraged the Bonaire government to institute sustainable tourism practices. To ensure that Bonaire's marine life remained both healthy and accessible to divers, Mr. Roessler was active in trying to get areas which had particularly good fish populations set aside for diving rather than a hunting area for fisherman.

In addition to orchestrating early dive tourism and environmentalism in Bonaire, Mr. Roessler actively promoted the beauty of Bonaire's reefs through a variety of photo articles in Skin Diver Magazine, and brought top dive manufacturing companies to Bonaire, to make a promotional film on the wreck of the Windjammer. During his time in Bonaire, he's logged over 100 dives on the wreck.

Mr. Roessler is now retired from the diving industry and volunteers his time to the Historical Diving Society, The International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame and The Journal of Diving History.

The Bonaire Lifetime Achievement Award honors long serving, high performance professionals whose careers have truly made a difference. It is for achievement over a period of several years rather than a single contribution and it is awarded for achievement that distinguishes the individual's worked and provides a legacy for future generations. Past recipients of the award include Dr. Sylvia Earle and Dr. Eugenie Clark.

For more information, click on 'Bonaire Dive Into Summer' on Bonaire's official website at www.tourismbonaire.com. Special thanks to Bonaire's Lifetime Achievement Award Week's host hotel, Captain Don's Habitat Bonaire, and Continental Airlines, the official airline sponsor of Bonaire Dive Into Summer.

Located eighty-six miles east of Aruba, the Dutch Caribbean island of Bonaire offers year-round sunshine, low annual rainfall, pristine coral formations and the most thriving fish population in the Caribbean. Ideal for adventurers, explorers and sun-worshippers alike, Bonaire offers myriad eco-adventure activities including world renowned scuba diving and snorkeling, windsurfing, kiteboarding, mountain biking, sea and mangrove kayaking, horseback riding, nature tours, hiking, bird watching, sailing and deep sea and bone fishing. And with a selection of accommodations ranging from full-service oceanfront resorts and condominiums to guesthouses and small inns, Bonaire has something for every lifestyle and budget.

Bonaire is the recipient of the prestigious Islands Magazine/Caribbean Tourism Organization 2008 Sustainable Tourism Award and continues to be recognized as one of the top destinations worldwide for its sustainable tourism and as one of the top diving destinations in the Atlantic/Caribbean for nine years in a row in the Scuba Diving magazine's 2011 Readers' Choice Awards. It was designated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as having the healthiest reefs in the Caribbean (January 2008), and as the Favorite Dive Destination in the World by About.com (June, 2008).


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