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.