In order to protect the coral reefs, we must first discuss why the coral reefs need protecting. Why are they in danger? Well, their demise has much to do with consumers and vacationers simply not knowing that their actions are affecting the health of the ocean’s coral reefs. It all starts with becoming educated.
Coral reefs are natural barriers to coastlines and they significantly benefit economies by protecting against erosion, cultivating fisheries, supporting tourism, providing substances for certain medicines, and providing beauty, culture and aesthetics to entire communities.
So what’s causing the damage?
Well, many things. Overfishing, global warming, and pollution just to name a few. Many people don’t feel that they can help save the coral reefs because they don’t have direct impact on chemical spills or fishing practices. But there is one easy switch that anyone can make to protect our coral reefs: switch from chemical sunscreen to mineral sunscreen.
Chemical Sunscreens Contain Harmful Oxybenzone
Sunscreens containing oxybenzone bleaches and kills coral reefs and once a coral reef dies, the ecosystem that depends on its health is soon compromised, too. The organisms collapse or are forced to move out to their natural habitats, which soon also becomes detrimental.
It only takes a very small amount of oxybenzone to cause damage to a coral reef. The equivalent to one drop of water of oxybenzone in six Olympic-sized swimming pools of ocean water is all it takes to begin to cause damage to delicate coral reefs.
According to an article published in the Washington Post, the levels of oxybenzone found in concentrations of ocean water in Hawaii and the U.S. Virgin Islands were 12 times higher than than the amount it takes to even begin damaging the coral reefs.
So what can you and your family do to help protect the coral reefs and reverse the damage that’s already been done?
1. Switch to Mineral Sunscreens.
2. When snorkeling and scuba diving, never touch the coral.
3. When spending a day at the beach, bring a trash bag!
4. Spread the word!
5. Use energy-efficient light bulbs.
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