Protect our coral reefs by choosing the right sunscreen
Believe it or not, sunscreen holds harmful chemicals that can effect marine life in a negative way. Individuals can greatly reduce the risk of pollution to our marine ecosystem simply by wearing eco-friendly sunscreen.
Many sunscreens on the market emit harmful chemicals in the water when you are swimming, and damage coral reef systems. Common chemicals include, but are not limited to oxybenzone, octinoxate, and octocrylene. These chemicals can damage developing coral, and increase coral bleaching. Coral bleaching occurs when the coral is stressed due to a change in the environment (in this case exposure to the aforementioned chemicals). According to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, the symbiotic relationship between coral and algae (coral feeds on algae) gets jeopardized when coral is under stress and bleaching occurs. Algae then leaves the stressed coral, which is its main source of food, leaving the plant pale and susceptible to disease. (NOAA.)