Looking  Forward


  • New scientific studies show that many common sunscreen components  
    are harmful to corals and other reef life

  • Of particular concern are sunscreens containing Oxybenzone, Octinoxate, all Parabens,
    and/or Phenoxyethanol as active or inactive ingredients. Spray sunscreens are the worst offenders
    because they often contain micro plastic contaminants and are also a concern for children

    as they can be inhaled.

  • CONUNDRUM:  How can you protect your skin, without damaging the coral and reef fish?

         1.  Stay out of the sun from 10 am - 2 pm

         2.  Wear UV protective swim shirts, other UV protective swimwear

         3.  Read the labels to avoid products with Oxybenzone, Octinoxate, all Parabens, and/or Phenoxyethanol

         4.  Check out these brand name products:  All Good, Badger, Raw Elements and Stream2Sea 
             for sunscreens without these ingredients 

         5.  Put sunscreen on at least 15-30 minutes prior to entering the water so that it has a chance to soak in. 
              Otherwise it comes off almost immediately in the water.

For more information on this subject check out two websites.  Click on an image below to open a website.  

 Many thanks to Dr. Craig Downs for pointing us to these sunscreen resources.             

Juvenile coral (planula)

National Park Service


What we know

  1. Hardscapes such as sea walls and rock revetments prevent sand release from dune areas behind the beach
     - no natural replenishment possible
  2. Even thick root structures of irrigated landscape plants can prevent this sand migration from dunes to beach
  3. Sea levels are rising, which further threatens the beach
  4. Coral reef decline means less protection of sandy beaches 

What we are watching:

  1. Kapalua beach homeowners are organizing to find ways to re-configure their beach by removing some
    hardscape and irrigated landscape features to allow the beach to expand inland
          -  We are staying in touch to gather “lessons learned” 
  2. Kahana bay and beach resorts are organizing to try to regain their beach.  Due to extensive damage, they are looking to install sand groins and do beach nourishment using sand lying offshore. 
          -  The project will take multiple years and multi-millions of dollars 


  1. We continue to explore sustainable ways to protect our wonderful beach, e.g.
  • Making changes in flora and irrigation 
  • Ongoing consultation with coastal geologists on best practices

For more information on beach erosion watch the Powerpoint presentation by Tara Miller Owens,
Coastal Geologist with Sea Grant.  Click on the link below to see the presentation.  

Managing Maui's Shores