Reef Report for Sunday, August 20, 2017
Not All Sunscreens are created equal
(especially in their impact on coral reefs.)
We’ve been following this story for some time now, and thought we’d share some of what we’ve learned.
A couple of years ago researchers learned that one of the main ingredients in many sunscreens, Oxybenzone, is extremely toxic to corals.
They then went out and tested ocean waters around tropical beaches and coral reefs where folks swim and found the chemical present in the water.
That’s led to a move towards using more reef safe sunscreens, and getting folks to use them. I guess you could say this short essay is our effort to do just that.
If you read any of the news items linked below you’ll find more of the details. It’s worthy of a read.
If you are headed out to visit tropical beaches where coral reefs are found, do protect your skin, but don’t damage the reef at the same time.
-use coral-safe sunscreens Here’s a list, courtesy of PADI.
-Using rashguards, hats, umbrellas, and the like reduce your need for sunscreen
Remember, that even if you don’t go in the water sunscreen ends up in the ocean when you shower off at the end of the day. Oxybenzone is a long-lived chemical, and will pass right down the shower drain, and not be degraded by most municipal water/sewage treatment plants.
From the New York Times, Not all Sunscreens are reef safe.
From the CBS News, Hawaii considers sunscreen oxybenzone ban to help save coral reefs.
From the Los Angeles Times, Don't pack sunscreen on your next trip to Hawaii. These hotels will give it to you.
The weekly reef report is written by Joel Groberg of DiveTheReef.com,
who compiles them from the many conversations he has with dive staff in the area, as well as many other local sources in the dive
Index of all reef reports.