Key West Bans Coral-Damaging Sunscreen

Partially bleached corals on Molasses Reef in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. City officials in Key West have put the cap on sunscreen —or at least varieties that contain chemicals believed to harm coral reefs and increase coral bleaching and death . The Florida Keys is home to the third largest living coral barrier reef system in the world. The ecosystem is a habitat for fish species and other marine life and also serves as economically important touristic and recreational spot. On Tuesday, the City Commission voted 6-to-1 to prohibit sales of sunscreens containing the chemicals oxybenzone and octinoxate, according to FLKeysNews . The ban will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2021. Big vote tonight in Key West over a proposed ban on certain sunscreens. Hawaii did it last year. #keywest… — Gwen Filosa (@KeyWestGwen) 1549407209.0 "We have one reef, and we have to do one small thing to protect that. It’s our obligation," Mayor Teri Johnston said before the vote, as quoted by FLKeysNews. People with medical prescriptions are exempt from the ban, Johnston told The New York Times . The first offense would be met with a warning and the second offense would incur […]

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