Hawaii implements strict suncreen regulations to halt coral reef damage

  • Hawaii implements strict suncreen regulations to halt coral reef damage

Hawaii implements strict suncreen regulations to halt coral reef damage

Hawaii is expected to become the first state in the U.S.to ban the sale of sunscreens containing two chemicals considered harmful to coral reefs. Coral reefs are also a popular draw for tourists. "This new law is just one step toward protecting the health and resiliency of Hawai'i's coral reefs". Our state Department of Land and Natural Resources has reported that 55 gallons of sunscreen are going into or near shore waters each day on Maui. At that rate, coral bleaching contributed to the loss of about half of the world's reefs in 2014 and 2015. The group Retail Merchants of Hawaii has said it's concerned the ban will discourage people from buying sunscreen at brick and mortar stores.

Executive director at the Haereticus Environmental Laboratory, Craig Downs stated that, "Juvenile corals are a thousand times more sensitive to the toxic effect of these chemicals than adult [corals]". We've got to taken action today to protect that other half as best we can.

But state Rep. Chris Lee, who represents the Honolulu suburbs of Kailua and Waimanalo, said the law is a necessary step to help Hawaii pass on its reefs, ocean, tourism industry and way of life to the next generation.

"This is a historic bill for our oceans".

Senator Mike Gabbard, who first introduced the bill, labeled SB 271, told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser that "Hawaii is definitely on the cutting edge by banning these risky chemicals in sunscreens". "I hope we can look back 20 years from now and see this as a moment we turned the corner on pollution and witnessed this law being replicated globally".