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Resource Conversation 4

Encourage the use of reef-safe sunblock

Why - Studies have found that sunscreen chemicals are harmful to the ocean environment. The main chemical culprits are oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate and octinoxate. Coastal communities around the world, such as the US Virgin Islands, Bonaire, Palau, Hawaii, Florida and parts of Mexico, have started to enact legislation to regulate chemicals in sunscreens.

Avoid sunscreens with oxybenzone, octinoxate and petrolatum (commonly known as mineral oil). Instead, use products that contain zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which are less toxic to the environment.

Lead by example and provide only reef-safe sunblock as part of your health and safety provisions to club members.


How – Take time at race day briefings and in club newsletters to remind members of the importance of choosing reef-safe sunblock products.

Research products that are certified reef safe and consider making sunblock available to your members to use at the club as part of your health and safety plan, if they have forgotten their own.

Goodbye Ouch produce a reef-safe sunblock with a plastic-free reusable container and offer clubs affiliated to Yachting New Zealand a discount on product.

See the resource guide for more information.

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