”The rain forests of the sea”
Coral reefs make up a vast amount of Earth’s biodiversity and ocean habitats. They are alive (they are animals), a habitat for 25% of all our marine life, but are threatened by numerous issues. Many of these issues are avoidable, and one we can directly affect is sunscreen – or rather the active ingredients.
Reef-safe sunscreen, shampoo and soap
One of the ways we can keep our coral reefs protected is by avoiding sunscreen (shampoo and soap) that contain active chemicals* that damage our reefs and harm marine life.
One’s products can seem harmless, but when they enter our oceans, they can wreak havoc.
Climate change and coral bleaching
Rising temperatures in our world’s waters harm coral reefs. Coral bleaching occurs when the corals are under stress – they expel the symbiotic algae (zooxanthellae) that live within their tissues- and turn completely white.
Why does this matter?
– ‘’UNEP estimates that about 25 to 50% per cent of the world’s coral reefs have been destroyed and another 60 per cent are under threat.’’
– When a coral bleaches it doesn’t die. Coral reefs can recover but only if stress is relieved (otherwise, the coral starves without food and dies.
However, all hope is not lost for the ‘’the rainforest of the seas’’. It’s relevant to be conscious of our impact on our planet, and this makes a difference. There isn’t just one simple thing that an individual can do to protect our coral reefs and oceans, for there isn’t just one simple issue.
I believe that knowledge is the first step, understanding the problem, then we can take action as individuals and collectively.
Resources about coral reefs:
Glowing Glowing Gone – A non-profit organisation with our coral reefs in mind.