Diver Name

Haruka Ito

Office Assistant / Instructor / Staff Naturalist

Location: Somewhere in nature
Hometown: Forests and under the sea

Nature is indescribably amazing. No matter how hard humans try to come out on top, nature's rules stay consistent within all living organisms. Even the spiraling pattern of our DNA is based on the same proportions that spiral sea shells and arrange the petals on a rose. No matter how hard we try to separate ourselves and try to "tame the wild", nature always wins. My passion is to show everyone this beauty and renew the wildness that's within all of us.  

I'll guide you underwater and open your eyes to the creatures often overlooked. I'll give you health and beauty tips using algae, and make you delicious seaweed cocktails. I'll lead you into the mountains to forage for wild foods and make seasonal drinks! Come out and explore with me!

"From birth, man carries the weight of gravity on his shoulders. He is bolted to the earth. But man has only to sink beneath the surface and he is free" - Jaques Cousteau

 

Say No to Toxic Sunscreens

May 10, 2018

This isn't my picture. But notice the handprint of bleached coral? This diver likely had applied sunblock with oxybenzone and it was still on his hand.

This isn't my picture. But notice the handprint of bleached coral? This diver likely had applied sunblock with oxybenzone and it was still on his hand.

There's five common ingredients in most commercial sunscreen:

- Avobenzone, Homosalate, Octisalate, Octocrylene, Oxybenzone. 

Every single one of these ingredients are harmful for our heath and/or ecological toxins. 

One of these ingredients, Oxybenzone, is in almost every single sunscreen, even some of the ones labeled "reef safe." Oxybenzone gets absorbed into our skin, and its purpose is to absorb UV rays. However, it also bioaccumulates in our bodies, disrupts our endocrine/hormone functions, and can be passed off into breastmilk. This chemical is one of the top causes of coral bleaching -- it destroys the DNA of coral larvae and mature coral organisms (zooxanthellae). Fish exposed to chemical sunscreen become sluggish, and have altered swimming and feeding behavior. 

Divers Alert Network has written up a good article that talks more about the impact of sunscreen on our reef health. Like most articles, it talks mainly about coral, and we don't have much coral here in CA. BUT, all our oceans are connected - sunscreen use here affects the coral reefs in the tropics. PLUS, these toxins aren't just harming coral. It's harming you, your children, marine mammals, and other marine life. 

DAN's Article about Sunscreen and Marine Life

So what do we do instead? Ocean Safari carries Stream2Sea sunblock, the only sunblock on the market that is proven and tested to be safe for you, corals, marine life, and the environment. Find out more about it here

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