Fun in the Sun

Fun in the Sun - ZooTampa at Lowry Park

Written by: Katie Murray, Green Team Member

Summer is almost here! This means more fun in the sun with friends and family. While you’re packing your beach bags, there is one important thing you shouldn’t forget- sunscreen!

We all use sunscreen to protect ourselves from the powerful sunrays, but did you know the sunscreen you’re using to protect yourself may be harmful to our coral reefs?

Unfortunately, chemicals commonly found in sunscreen such as oxybenzone and octinoxate have been shown to cause damage to coral reef structures.

We’re not saying skip the sunscreen all together, we’re just saying you might want to consider some alternatives, like reef-safe sunscreen. Buying skin-care products that contain titanium oxide or zinc oxide are great alternatives.

While oxybenzone and octinoxate are two of the biggest culprits of coral reef harm, there are other chemicals in sunscreen that can also be damaging. So if you want to go the extra mile you can always wear UPF (ultraviolet protection factor) clothing. This is an option that I highly recommend, as someone who burns almost instantly in the Florida sun.

Whether you choose to go with protective clothing or with reef-safe sunscreen, on behalf of coral reefs everywhere - THANK YOU!