The Nature Foundation encourages the community of St.Maarten/St.Martin to use Coral Isles Reef Friendly sunscreen/suntan lotions, Coral Isles Sunscreen is specifically formulated not to have any negative impacts on coral reefs while at the same time protecting users from the sun.
Over the past 30 years, Sint Maarten has lost over 80% of its coral reefs—an alarming statistic that is made even more disturbing by the fact that this has become a trend throughout the Caribbean Region and Globally. Although climate change (global warming) has long been identified as a primary contributor to coral bleaching, scientists have also identified pollutants in our oceans causing significant damage to coral. Many of these man-made pollutants are common ingredients found in sunscreens.
Coral reefs are popular recreational spots, they are high-traffic areas for swimmers and divers, many of whom wear sunscreen. Researchers at the Nature Foundation have been studying these high-concentration areas for some time, and there is a growing body of scientific evidence pointing to several ingredients in sunscreen that are highly toxic to coral. These include Oxybenzone, Zinc Oxide, Titanium Dioxide, Octinoxate, and Parabens. Most “Safe” sunscreens avoid either Chemicals (Oxybenzone) or minerals (TiO2/ZnO), but seldom both. CORAL ISLES have removed all of those harmful ingredients while still maintaining a full broad spectrum UV protection sunscreen.
The Nature Foundation urges water sports afficonados, especially divers and snorkelers, to use reef safe sunscreen. The Coral Reefs of Sint Maarten, especially in the Man of War Shoal Marine Protected Area, contribute significantly to the economy of Sint Maarten and all steps should be taken by the community to protect this very important resource.