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      Free Materials Available to Help Educate Public About Sunscreen Choices

      KIHEI, HI – Want to help get the word out about switching to sunscreens that are free of reef-harming oxybenzone and octinoxate? Looking for ways to explain “reef safe” sunscreen choices to guests and customers?

      The nonprofit Maui Nui Marine Resource Council, with support from the County of Maui Mayor’s Office of Economic Development, has materials to help.

      Maui Nui Marine Resource Council recently printed wallet-sized sunscreen information cards that provide a friendly, simple explanation about avoiding sunscreens with reef-harming oxybenzone and octinoxate. The cards are being offered free to Maui businesses and concierge, for distribution to visitors and residents.

      “The cards require very little space on a counter or desk, yet provide all of the information needed to help a guest or customer avoid reef-harming oxybenzone and octinoxate, two chemicals that have been proven to harm or kill corals,” says Anne Rillero, Communications, Community Outreach and Development Manager at Maui Nui Marine Resource Council.

      For those with more space, Maui Nui Marine Resource Council is offering free 8 1/2” x 11” color posters, with the message, “Get a Jump on Protecting Maui’s Coral Reefs: Make the Sunscreen Switch Today.”

      Rillero notes that Hawaii’s sunscreen ban of these two reef-harming ingredients doesn’t go into effect until January 1, 2021, but our local coral reefs need help – which is why Maui Nui Marine Resource Council is urging all ocean users to make the sunscreen switch now. Maui Nui Marine Resource Council is partnering with Maui Visitors Bureau and the County of Maui Mayor’s Office of Economic Development on a campaign to raise awareness about sunscreen choices.

      “The sale of sunscreens containing oxybenzone and octinoxate will be banned under Hawaii’s sunscreen law in 2021, but why wait until then?,” said Robin Newbold, co-founder and chair of Maui Nui Marine Resource Council. “Coral reefs in Hawaii and around the world are under stress due to warming ocean waters, sediment runoff, pollution and other human-related causes. While it’s important that we tackle those issues, switching to a more environmentally friendly sunscreen now is an easy way for individuals and families to help protect the reefs.”

      Newbold noted that new sunscreen products made without oxybenzone and octinoxate are readily available and easy to use.

      Maui Nui Marine Resource Council has also produced a short video about sunscreen choices which can be viewed at https://youtu.be/szB9xNZV85A .

      The organization provides a website page that offers details on safer-for-the-reef sunscreens at https://www.mauireefs.org/sunscreens/.

      Maui Nui Marine Resource Council has also printed bumperstickers, with the message, “Show some love for Maui’s corals. Choose reef-safe sunscreen” that are offered free to the public.

      To arrange for any of these free materials, please email [email protected] Please include the name of your business, resort or vacation rental, along with your name and contact information, and the items requested.


      A Maui-based nonprofit organization founded in 2007, Maui Nui Marine Resource Council is working for healthy coral reefs, clean ocean water and abundant native fish for the islands of Maui County. Current projects include ocean water quality testing in South and West Maui, work to improve ocean water quality in Ma’alaea Bay, ongoing studies of corals in Olowalu and Ma’alaea, and outreach programs to educate visitors about protecting Maui’s coral reefs.

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