We are celebrating with Hawaii and Bonaire this month! With the passing of Bill 2571, Hawaii has banned the sale and use of any sunscreen that contains the chemicals: oxybenzone and octinoxate. Bonaire quickly followed suit.

These coastal communities have seen the detrimental effects toxic waters can have on marine life, and their move to protect their coral reefs is monumental.

Why?

Because though “coral reefs make up less than one percent of the ocean floor, they support an estimated twenty-five percent of all marine life.” Coral reefs are an intrinsic part of the ocean ecosystem. They provide a place for various organisms and species to live, eat, and reproduce. Oxybenzone and octinoxate poison the microorganisms that thrive inside the coral plants, causing what’s known as coral bleaching—a phenomenon where corals expel the algae (zooxanthellae) living in their tissues, causing the coral to turn completely white. When a coral bleaches, it is not dead…they can survive a bleaching event, but they are under more stress and are subject to mortality.

And dead coral…well, that upsets the delicate marine ecosystem in huge ways.

Coral reefs are like a litmus test for the health of our oceans. When they are thriving, they work as a natural break to the surf preventing erosions of shorelines, they balance the level of ammonia in the ocean (ammonia is naturally produced by many ocean animals) by housing the bacteria and algae that convert ammonia to nitrate, and their bright color and abundance lets us know the ocean water is not too warm, and is free of chemicals.

It is important to understand that this ban doesn’t apply to ALL sunscreens. It only applies to sunscreens that contain the chemicals oxybenzone and octinoxate. There are mineral based sunscreens on the market that contain zinc-oxide or titanium dioxide, which provide UVA and UVB protection without harming marine life.

At Stream2Sea, we are proud to offer the only mineral based sunscreen tested and proven safe for freshwater fish, saltwater fish, AND coral larvae. We only use ingredients that are safe for you and safe for our waters.  Click here to request a convenient, free “Ingredients to Avoid” card.

Kudos to Hawaii and Bonaire for recognizing the importance of the ocean’s ecosystem. They have taken a big, and necessary, step forward to help protect coral reefs. Other states and countries around the world are paying attention, and we are hoping many more decide to follow suit.

Stream2Sea has set a new standard for EcoConscious sunscreen and skincare. Along with the required human safety and SPF tests, Stream2Sea products are proven to be readily biodegradable in both salt and fresh water and have passed a comprehensive series of aquatic toxicity tests. Formulated with powerful antioxidant blends to protect skin from sun damage, the Stream2Sea line includes safe sunscreens, conditioning shampoo and body wash, leave-in conditioner, nourishing body lotion and lip balms. Stream2Sea products are currently available online at www.Stream2Sea.com or ask for them at your favorite health food store, dive center or outdoor retailer. Friend us on Facebook or call (866) 960-9513.

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