In May 2018 Hawaii’s Governor passed a law, the first of its kind in the country, banning sunscreens that contain chemicals harmful to coral reefs. This law will go into effect January1, 2021. After that date, sunscreens containing oxybenzone and octinoxate will be prohibited for sale or distribution in Hawaii. Travelers may still bring in other sunscreen but it is strongly encouraged for the health and well being of our oceans that EVERYONE abide by these guidelines.
Sunscreen that contains zinc oxide and titanium dioxide will still be allowed. There are a number of sunscreens marketed as reef safe which are a good start. Unfortunately the FDA does not regulate the terminology “reef safe” so it is important for consumers to be extra vigilant and buy the appropriate sunscreens. There are a number of companies in Hawaii and online that sell true reef safe sunscreens.
Environmentally conscious groups like the Pacific
Whale Foundation and Maui Nui Research Council are good places to get information and to purchase safe sunscreens. There are also a number of options on Amazon.
Ocean Play, the Sustainable Way – the Importance of Using Reef-Safe Sunscreen
New Campaign Urges Maui Visitors to “Get a Jump on Protecting Maui’s Coral Reefs” by Making the Sunscreen Switch Today
Try these four reef-safe sunscreens with our new Sunscreen Collection
Reef safe sunscreens are typically more expensive than the normal brands most of us use. A suggestion would be to use the other brands when not going into the ocean.
Thank you for doing your part to ensure that our reefs stay healthy!
Beaches are one of the first things that come to mind when thinking about Maui. Beautiful, long, white soft sand beaches. These are fantastic and most people spend spend many hours on them, basking in the sun, swimming in the ocean, reading a good book as well as the myriad other fun things to do on the beach.
Maui also has a gorgeous black sand beach that is well worth visiting. It is located at mile marker 32 on the road to Hana and is part of the Wainapanapa State Park. As you have probably guessed, the black sand is made up of ground lava and indeed at the water’s edge the black sand gives way to lava. Due to the lack of sand at the entry to the water, this is not a great beach for frolicking in the water, but it is a great spot for snorkeling and diving. There is coral and a reef just offshore which creates a home for lots of sea life, including green sea turtles which are also commonly found here.
Wainapanapa State Park also features a lava tube, blow hole and a sea arch, all of which are fascinating as well and quite nice added bonuses to the black sand beach itself.
Been to the black sand beach? Let us know what you think!
Along the remote Kanaio Coast of Maui , stretching from Makena in South Maui to Hana, is a very arid and barren stretch of the island. One can drive along part of this area by going the “back way to Hana”. This drive, starting in Kula and ending in Hana, of course, is a tricky, windy, one lane road that sometimes isn’t paved. Rental car companies generally prohibit rental cars from being taken on this road. We will write more about the joys of the back road in a later post, but for now we want to discuss another spectacular way to see this area.
A unique way to view this coast is by boat which then opens up the possibility of exploring the sea caves that dot this coastline. There are a number of tours that offer snorkeling and diving options as well as tours that feature going inside the caves. These tours not only offer access to otherwise inaccessible areas of Maui, but also provide beautiful views of Haleakala as well as lava arches and grottos. Many of these tours will also include a trip over to Molikini, another awesome spot to snorkel.
Been to the sea caves? Let us know what you thought!