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Safe Sunscreen Coalition

Encouraging Reef-Safe Sunscreen Use

What is the Safe Sunscreen Coalition?

Sunscreens can directly impact people, marine life, and corals so it’s important that we all use sunscreens that are natural (mineral based) and exclude ingredients that can harm life in the ocean.

  • Between 6,000 and 14,000 tons of sunscreen lotion finds its way onto coral reefs annually according to the U.S. National Park Service.
  • Oxybenzone can damage coral DNA resulting in reefs that look “healthy but are actually sterile and dead – so they cannot reproduce.”
  • Here is a list of ingredients you want to avoid in your sunscreen that can negatively impact people, marine life, and corals:
    • Oxybenzone / Avobenzone
    • Octinoxate / Cinnamate
    • Octocrylene
    • Octisalate / Homosalate
    • Camphor (4MBC)
    • Propylene Glycol / Peg
    • Parabens
    • Phthalates
    • Synthetic Frangrances / Parfum / Vanillin
    • Cocomide Dea
    • Nano-Particles
    • Aluminum
    • Dimethicone

Hawaii's Coral Reefs

  • The waters surrounding Hawaii’s eight main islands contain more than 410,000 acres of living coral reefs.
  • And because of Hawaii’s geographic isolation, the reefs support unique life including the Hawaiian Monk Seal, the Bandit Angelfish, even some of the types of coral that compose the reef – all of which are found nowhere else on earth.
  • Coral reefs are some of the world’s most productive ecosystems and they form nurseries for roughly a quarter of the world’s fisheries, and more than a billion people depend on reefs for their livelihoods.
  • Hawaii’s coral reefs earned the state more than $356 million dollars annually in tourist revenue alone, so they are actively working to protect them.

Bermuda's Coral Reefs

  • Bermuda’s coral reefs are some of the northern most reefs in the North Atlantic and many of them are quite large in size.
  • Corals require warm water temperature to the range of 76-85 degrees Fahrenheit to survive.
  • Fortunately, the nearby Gulf Stream keeps the water around Bermuda warm and clean.
  • The coral reefs around Bermuda have remained quite healthy despite the fact that in the winter, the water temperature falls below the level that corals ideally need.

The Dolphin Quest Connection

  • Dolphin Quest only promotes and sells safe sunscreens that do not include any of the harmful ingredients previously listed.
  • We sell sunscreen from the company Little Hands Hawaii – a local company that creates sunscreen made from natural ingredients with your skin health and our environment in mind.
  • You can visit their website at


Safe Sunscreen Certified

  • We are Safe Sunscreen Certified at Dolphin Quest Hawaii and Dolphin Quest Oahu because we only sell safe sunscreens in our gift shops.
  • The Safe Sunscreen mission is: Promoting better sunscreen choices, for people are the environment.  We help connect eco-conscious consumers with shops carrying safer sunscreens free of toxins, carcinogens, and hormone disruptors!
  • Check out their website at

SunSmart Certification

  • The SunSmart program is a school and summer camp-based program which aims to increase the awareness of our youth about the importance of practicing SunSmart behaviors while outdoors.
  • This program seeks to influence individuals who are responsible for protecting others such as parents, teachers, friends, and other family members with SunSmart behaviors.
  • The ultimate goal is to prevent the dangerous outcomes of sun exposure such as premature aging, skin leathering, and skin cancer.
  • Dolphin Quest Bermuda is SunSmart Certified, and our Crew Members have been educated on how to promote safe sun exposure to our guests, including using ocean-safe sunscreen to also help protect our coral reefs and the animals that live in them.
  • Check out their website at