Coral reef protection: 3 ways you can avoid Oxybenzone

Coral reef protection: 3 ways you can avoid Oxybenzone


Hello fellow boat riders and underwater enthusiasts. I know, like us, you are concerned about protecting your skin from the sun we so love above, but you don’t want to do so at the cost of the coral reef we so love below. As a company of captains, divers and snorkelers, we have some things to share with you.


Oxybenzone and how it hurts our sea life and our coral reef


Here is an article by Sarah Eminhizer writing for the Coral Reef Alliance where she warns us about using certain chemicals in our sunscreens and how they harm the coral reef. She informs us about the damage Oxybenzone does by injuring the coral’s DNA and disrupting it’s hormonal process. This chemical doesn’t just come directly from off of our skin either. Oxybenzone can contaminate the coral even from our time on the boat or in the sand.

This Oxy-warning is further driven home by Michael D’Estries who is writing this article for Mother Nature Network. He not only shares points with Sarah but goes on to cover that marine life can also be harmed by Oxybenzone.  With creatures like sea turtles, urchins and starfish specially in danger. He even lets us know that Oxybenzone is the third most pressing threat to coral reefs.

Here is what you can do to protect you skin and protect the coral reef.


Wear Sunscreens that do not use Oxybenzone

There are many sunscreens that use physical UV blockers instead of chemical ones. Use those when hanging out on the sand or in the water.

Forgo sunscreen entirely, and instead use a rashguard or wetsuit when in the water.

This clothing can come with built in UV protection, and is designed to be worn in the water.  Use this when on the boat, snorkeling, swimming or diving, instead of sunscreens.

Let others know about these harmful sunscreens

Let your friends and families know about this issue as well, the more people who know, the less Oxybenzone will get into our waters and damage our coral reefs. Especially stay away from spray sunscreens. These spray sunscreens get every where and the chemicals in them, aren’t only bad for the coral, but for you and the boat as well.


Now go have some fun out there on or in the water, but do so safely. Do so protecting yourself from the sun and protecting the coral reef from Oxybenzone.

  • “Lobsters, Snorkeling and Cliff Jumping..oh my!” "We spent a glorious day with Captain Morgan! This was our first trip to the area and he managed to cram in a ton of activities and sights while still allowing us to just relax and take a slow, chill vacation day. There were 4 of us--two adults and our young adult children. He picked us up from St. Thomas and took the time to figure out what we wanted--rather than just taking us to a standard cookie cutter list of places. Over the course of the day we snorkeled and swam on quiet beaches, ate freshly cooked lobster at Sidney's, explored the area and capped off the afternoon with a leap off of a 40 foot cliff into the deep blue sea. Pure perfection. Morgan was friendly and fun. Would recommend to anyone looking for a relaxing day on the water!"    
    David C
  • "Our family of four spent the day with Jeremy as our Captain. He let us pick our day along with some of his suggestions. We ended up snorkeling at the Norman Island Caves and The Indians. Had a fabulous lunch at Pirates Bight , drinks and jumps at Willy T and finally spent some time at Jost Van Dyke and the beach . Jeremy was professional, friendly and we always felt safe. Would definitely recommend Ocean Runner for anyone looking for a day on the water." Visited July 2015
    Debbie S
  • "What an experience. Took a trip to the British VI's to see the Bath's, Caves at Norman Island and Jost Van Dyke. Hired Ocean Runner to take us there for a full day trip. Captain Tom Larson took care of us like we were his own family. He was so knowledgeable when it came to the history of the islands surrounding St. John and the BVI's. Highly recommend Captain Larson and Ocean Runner for your excursions out of St. John."
    John S
  • "The boat we rented from Ocean Runner was well-maintained, the staff were courteous and obviously experienced, and the advice and service excellent!  We would strongly recommend OR to anyone seeking a powerboat rental while visiting St John."
    Dana - Nashville
  • "We have used Ocean Runner quite a few times during our family vacations and always have had a wonderful day. Last year we had a larger group and had to use another company. The difference was obvious from the get-go. Of course we enjoyed the day - it's impossible not to - but the overall experience was not up to what we have enjoyed with Ocean Runner."
    Janet - Massachusetts