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… https://t.co/1n3tB8VTrZ— Gwen Filosa (@Gwen Filosa)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 an as yet undetermined fine.
The move follows efforts from Hawaii, which became the first state to ban sunscreens with the same two chemicals last year. The Aloha State's ban takes effect in 2021.
Last year, the Pacific archipelago of Palau also banned sunscreens containing any one of 10 chemicals that may be reef toxic.
Oxybenzone and octinoxate, which filter UV rays, can be found in more than 3,500 sunscreen products, including popular ones sold by Hawaiian Tropic, Banana Boat and Coppertone.
City commissioner Greg Davila, the only dissenter during Tuesday's vote, said, "We're not giving residents the freedom to choose what sunscreens they want to use," according to FLKeysNews.
Studies have shown that the oxybenzone and octinoxate can damage fragile coral reef systems. Even a drop of oxybenzone in 4.3 million gallons of water, or six and a half Olympic sized swimming pools worth, is enough to harm corals, The New York Times previously reported.
In case you'd like try a "reef-safe" sunscreen, Hawaii.com published a list of options. The chief executive of Cancer Council Australia, Sanchia Aranda, told the Guardian that sunscreen should be the last line of defense against UV rays. Aranda advised that sunscreen should be used on top of wearing protective clothing, sunglasses, a hat "and people should also stay in the shade as much as possible."
- Hawaii to Approve Landmark Ban on Coral-Damaging Sunscreens ... ›
- Hawaii Lawmakers Pass Ban on Coral-Damaging Sunscreen ... ›
People across New England witnessed a dramatic celestial event Sunday night.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By David Reichmuth
Over the last month, I've seen a number of opinion articles attacking electric vehicles (EVs). Sadly, this comes as no surprise: now that the Biden administration is introducing federal policies to accelerate the roll out of electric vehicles, we were bound to see a reaction from those that oppose reducing climate changing emissions and petroleum use.
The majority of EVs sold in 2020 were models with a starting price (Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price) under $40,000 and only a fifth of models had a starting price over $60,000.
On Friday, China set out an economic blueprint for the next five years, which was expected to substantiate the goal set out last fall by President Xi Jinping for the country to reach net-zero emissions before 2060 and hit peak emissions by 2030.
The Great Trail in Canada is recognized as the world's longest recreational trail for hiking, biking, and cross-country skiing. Created by the Trans Canada Trail (TCT) and various partners, The Great Trail consists of a series of smaller, interconnected routes that stretch from St. John's to Vancouver and even into the Yukon and Northwest Territories. It took nearly 25 years to connect the 27,000 kilometers of greenway in ways that were safe and accessible to hikers. Now, thanks to a new partnership with the Canadian Paralympic Committee and AccessNow, the TCT is increasing accessibility throughout The Great Trail for people with disabilities.
Trans Canada Trail and AccessNow partnership for AccessOutdoors / Trails for All project. Mapping day at Stanley Park Seawall in Vancouver, British Columbia with Richard Peter. Alexa Fernando<p>This partnership also comes at a time when access to outdoor recreation is more important to Canadian citizens than ever. <a href="https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/200527/dq200527b-eng.htm" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Studies from the spring of 2020</a> indicate that Canadian's <a href="https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/moneytalk-mental-health-during-covid-19-1.1567633" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">mental health has worsened</a> since the onset of social distancing protocols due to COVID-19. </p><p>The <a href="https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/in-depth/safe-activities-during-covid19/art-20489385" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Mayo Clinic</a> lists hiking, biking, and skiing as safe activities during COVID-19. Their website explains, "When you're outside, fresh air is constantly moving, dispersing these droplets. So you're less likely to breathe in enough of the respiratory droplets containing the virus that causes COVID-19 to become infected."</p><p>TCT leadership took this into consideration when embarking on the accessibility project. McMahon explains that there has never been a more important time to bring accessibility to the great outdoors: "Canadians have told us that during these difficult times, they value access to natural spaces to stay active, take care of their mental health, and socially connect with others while respecting physical distancing and public health directives. This partnership is incredibly important especially now as trails have become a lifeline for Canadians."</p><p>Together, these organizations are paving the way for better physical and mental health among all Canadians. To learn more about the TCT's mission and initiatives, check out their <a href="https://thegreattrail.ca/stories/" target="_blank">trail stories</a> and <a href="https://thegreattrail.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/TCT_2020-Donor-Impact-Report_EN_8.5x14-web.pdf" target="_blank">2020 Impact Report</a>.</p>