In an impressive commitment to protect Hawaii's cherished coral reefs, the state legislature has passed a bill to ban two chemicals in common sunscreens that are toxic to corals.
The bill is now sitting on the desk of Hawaii's governor, David Ige. Unfortunately, many companies and business interests have been lobbying the governor to veto the toxic sunscreen ban.
Coral reefs are critical to ocean wildlife, and play a huge role in driving tourism in tropical locations such as Hawaii. But we're loving our reefs to death. Overfishing, global warming, ocean acidification and invasive species are all playing a roll in degrading these beautiful and diverse living structures.
Hawaii's legislature is to be congratulated for taking a leading stance on this newly discovered and easily preventable threat – the chemicals oxybenzone and octinoxate that are found in most sunscreens. Studies have shown these chemicals make coral reefs more susceptible to environmental stressors and can even kill them. It's urgent that we remove these chemicals from our oceans.
But now, some business interests are rallying to oppose this ban. I know there are sunscreen alternatives that are good for people and the environment – thirteen years ago, I launched my company to make sure of it. We can protect people from sun burns and skin cancer while protecting our oceans and environment.
Please urge Governor Ige to support the leadership of Hawaii's legislature to protect our coral reefs and sign this bill into law.
Nova Covington founded Goddess Garden in 2005. It is now the largest certified-organic sunscreen brand, also offering certified-organic facial care, aromatherapy and pure essential-oil perfumes. In 2017, Nova established a foundation, Protect Our Mother, to help protect the coral reefs and clean up the oceans.