Coral reefs are underwater ecosystems crucial to the flow of the ocean. The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) lists that coral reefs offer protection from wave action, prevent erosion, prevent property damage, and loss of life. They list that "many drugs are now being developed from coral reef animals and plants as possible cures for cancer, arthritis, human bacterial infections, and other diseases."
Scientists are finding that chemicals in sunscreens are directly damaging coral reefs. When you put on sunscreen, you are consciously choosing to protect yourself from harmful sun rays, but that's not all that is happening. Whether you choose to swim in the ocean or wash your sunscreen off in a shower, the chemicals released will likely end up in the water which will end up absorbed by coral.
Hawaii has already passed a bill with bans the sales of sunscreens containing chemicals such as oxybenzone and octinoxate (believed to cause coral bleaching) which is expected to go into effect by January 2021.
What to look for when choosing sunscreen:
What's your favorite reef-safe sunscreen? Head over to our Facebook page to let me know now!
Please note: This list is ever-growing and changing. If you have any information regarding whether a sunscreen on this list should be removed, PLEASE contact me ASAP!
Jamie is a musician, avid lover of nature, and a dog momma living a more sustainable life each and every day.