Brad? Becky? this is why we can’t have nice things.
An estimated 14,000 tons of sunscreen is believed to be deposited in oceans annually with the greatest damage found in popular reef areas in Hawaii and the Caribbean. In 2015, the nonprofit Haereticus Environmental Laboratory surveyed Trunk Bay beach on St. John, wherevisitors ranged from 2,000 to 5,000 swimmers daily, and estimated over 6,000 pounds of sunscreen was deposited on the reef annually. The same year, it found an average of 412 pounds of sunscreen was deposited daily on the reef at Hanauma Bay, a popular snorkeling destination in Oahu that draws an average of 2,600 swimmers each day.
Sunscreen alternatives …[with] mineral sunblocks with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide ..must be “non-nano” in size to be considered reef-safe. If they are below 100 nanometers, the creams can be ingested by corals.
Before you pack for your next trip to Hawaii, be prepared to leave your favorite sunscreen at home. And don’t worry, your skin won’t fry.
Scientific research shows that oxybenzone – also known as BP-3, contained in many sunscreen lotions, cremes and sprays — is extremely harmful to the state’s fragile coral reefs
Check-in desks and towel supply stations at the company’s nearly 50 properties throughout the state will allow guests to swap their oxybenzone-containing sunscreen for a free bottle of Raw Elements, a reef-safe sunscreen.
State lawmakers passed a bill Tuesday banning sunscreens containing oxybenzone and octinoxate, chemicals believed to cause harm to marine life and coral reefs.
..The bill …prohibit[s] the sale and distribution of sunscreen with those chemicals on the island “without prescription from a licensed healthcare provider.”
“Amazingly, this is a first-in-the-world law,” Gabbard, who introduced the bill, told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. “When you think about it, our island paradise, surrounded by coral reefs, is the perfect place to set the gold standard for the world to follow. This will make a huge difference in protecting our coral reefs, marine life, and human health.”