“Don’t forget to reapply your sunscreen!” This phrase is heard over and over at SeaTrek BVI. After all, there is nothing quite worse than a sunburn. But what if we told you that your sunscreen could be having a detrimental effect on the coral reefs and other underwater habitats you have been exploring. If your sunscreen contains the chemical “oxybenzone”, your act to avoid a sunburn is actually adding to the decline of coral reefs.
Corals support nearly 25% of marine life. They are some of the most biodiverse ecosystems on the planet, and without them we would lose millions of other creatures. Not only do they provide a home for an array of marine life, they also produce nearly as much of the Earth’s oxygen as the rainforests. “The value of coral reefs is 9.9 trillion dollars worldwide” while the value of oil is “3.3 trillion dollars.”
Research done by Ph.D., Craig Downs has found that concentrations of 62 parts per trillion of oxybenzone can cause adv
erse effects on coral reefs. That is equivalent to 1 drop of water in 6.5 Olympic sized swimming pools. It is estimated that 14,000 tons of sunscreen enter water around coral reefs each year. Oxybenzone can cause corals to become sterile, which means they are not able to reproduce. It also causes corals to bleach at lower temperatures. The effects of this chemical are so detrimental, that Hawaii is working to ban the sale of products containing Oxybenzone.
Not only are these chemicals damaging reefs, they are also being absorbed by marine life that we eat. Sea food with a side of sunscreen doesn’t sound very appetizing. If these chemicals are bad for the reefs, imagine what they could be doing to our bodies. Research has found that sunscreen can be detected in human urine 20 minutes after it has been applied.
In the wise words of Gill from Finding Nemo “all drains lead to the ocean.” Even if you aren’t using sunscreen at the beach, chances are it will find its way to the sea. That is the philosophy behind a sunscreen company called Stream2 Sea that provides alternative sunscreen and body care products that are eco-conscious and biodegradable. Instead of using oxybezone as the active ingredient, Stream2Sea uses titanium oxide. Not only has this ingredient been labeled reef safe, it is also much safer for your body! You can also help protect coral reefs by being more conscious in general. Try waiting 20 minutes before getting in the water, or wearing a rash guard for alternate sun protection. Every little action has a cumulative effect in helping to keep our planet happy and healthy!
We have personally been trying out Stream2Sea and are 100% onboard with their mission and quality of their products. In fact, they have provided us with some samples that we will be using this summer. They have also agreed to provide all of you with a 10% DISCOUNT on their entire product line. For all purchases, a 20% DONATION will be given to SeaTrek BVI in support of our ocean conservation projects and student scholarship fund.
So, what do you need to do to get your discount and support Stream2Sea and SeaTrek BVI? Just go to the SeaTrek BVI landing page on the Stream2Sea website http://www.stream2sea.com/seatrek-bvi, click on the banner, select the items you want, and use Coupon Code SEATREK to receive your 10% discount and make your 20% donation to SeaTrek’s ocean conservation efforts and student scholarship fund.
Find more information on corals and sunscreen here: