Coral reefs are disappearing at an alarming rate. Some studies suggest that in the last forty years half of the coral in the oceans has died and in just the last three years, one-fifth of it is gone. The decline is alarming; coral reefs support entire marine ecosystems, 25 percent of ocean life. In addition, reefs provide protection from large waves to many islands. If the reefs are gone, the islands could be hit harder than ever when storms come.
What can we do? The main causes of disappearing and diseased reefs are litter, pollution and global warming. So besides using less plastic and trying to decrease our carbon footprint, we can make sure that the chemicals we have on our body aren’t contributing to their demise.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock (in which case you’re good), you know that dermatologists say we need sunscreen whenever we’re in the sun and especially when we’re in the water. The main chemicals in sunscreen that are causing the problems are oxybenzone and octinoxate. Reading the labels can help you avoid those two. Another reason to avoid oxybenzone? Some studies show that it may be a hormone disruptor. Don’t worry, there are plenty of safe options to take on your vacation. Click through to find out which one is best for you … and your corner of the ocean.