Protect Yourself and Arubas Coral Reefs

06/01/2018

Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort Drone Shot

One of the most stunning sights you’ll see in Aruba are actually under water. These are our precious and prismatic coral reefs system which can be easily accessed from the shore. Few people know that although reefs cover just two percent of the ocean floor, one quarter of all ocean species depend on them for food and shelter. In addition, reefs protect shorelines, support the fishing industry and bring tourist dollars and gainful employment to millions around the world. Protecting the life of the reefs therefore is important to all humankind.

 
Dying Coral

But the world’s reef systems, including Aruba’s are under attack. You have probably heard about global warming as a major cause of coral bleaching that is destroying many reefs. This happens when higher temperatures put stress on the tiny, but brilliantly colored algae that feed the coral. When they leave, the reefs turn white, or become bleached.

 

Another thing putting stress on the algae and therefore the coral is pollution, more specifically many of the commercially available sunscreens on the market today. Every year, 14,000 tons of sunscreen washes off people and ends up in the world’s coral reefs bleaching them and causing irreparable damage.

 

Most popular sunscreens contain toxic chemicals and preservatives. Among the most dangerous is oxybenzone or benzophenone-3. Reason being, oxybenzone absorbs harmful UV rays. However, through studies, it’s been discovered that there are severe drawbacks. Not only does it cause deformation in juvenile corals and bleaching, in people it can alter DNA leading to cancer and developmental abnormalities.

 
The Bucuti Solution

Bucuti & Tara is pleased to offer guests coral reef-safe sunblock. The non-toxic lotion is as safe for reefs as it is humans. Proudly made here in Aruba by Arubalife Organics, each small batch is handcrafted with all natural, organic and pronounceable ingredients that are safe and free from any toxic or synthetic chemicals. A bonus is that you only have to use a little bit of the lotion (or sunscreen butter) to cover and protect yourself.

 

Bucuti & Tara’s longstanding commitment to sustainability and wellness prompted us to act. Located close to the equator, we’ve long encouraged guests to wear sunscreen. With the combination of the sun’s intense rays, the powdery white sand beach and turquoise water, sunburns can happen faster than anticipated. Guests can now find the zinc-based Arubalife Organics Sunscreen Butter (SPF 25+) in the mini bars of every room, which makes one less thing to pack on your way to One Happy Island.

 
You Can Help

If you choose to bring your own sunblock or purchase it elsewhere, please consider these quick tips for coral friendly (and people friendly!) sunblock:

  • Look for a sunscreen that contains titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide.
  • Avoid sunscreens that contain toxic, coral killing chemicals including oxybenzone, octinoxate/ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate, homosalate, octisalate or octocrylene.
  • Look closely. Reef Safe or Reef Friendly claims on sunscreen labels are unregulated and potentially questionable. Be sure to check the ingredients.
  • Use a water-resistant sunscreen which will be more likely to stay on your skin and out of the water.
  • Use a sunscreen that has been tested biodegradable ensuring that the product will break down in the marine environment.
  • Before reaching for sunscreen, also consider wearing a shirt or hat or a rash guard in the water during peak sun hours.

Whether you come to swim, snorkel or scuba dive, we want the reefs to be alive and vibrant for you and generations to come and discover.

 
With peace, love, and happiness…naturally.

Ewald Biemans