The fourth of July holiday weekend is upon us, and millions of Americans will head to their nearest beach, apply some sunscreen, and soak up some UV rays.
As of right now, that sunscreen Americans apply to try to help protect their skin is completely legal, but that maybe short-lived.
The use of certain types of sunscreen may soon be outlawed within national marine sanctuaries where coral reefs are found.
Banning sunscreen use sounds like crazy talk, but there is a measure filed in the U.S. Congress that calls for such a ban.
A few months back, Florida Rep. Francis Rooney (R) introduced legislature that would prohibit the use of sunscreens that contain oxybenzone or octinoxate.
The bill, which was also cosponsored by freshman Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D) and Rep. Alcee Hastings (D), was deemed necessary to prevent those two chemicals from “killing our coral reefs” in these marine sanctuaries.
According to a March 19 press release from Mucarsel-Powell’s office, Rooney made the case for protecting the global marine ecosystem.
“These chemicals are killing our coral reefs, which are vital to the marine ecosystem here in Florida and around the world. Reefs play a major role in preventing shore erosion and protect coastal wetlands. Their preservation is a key component of our tourism-based economy. I introduced the Defending Our National Marine Sanctuaries from Damaging Chemicals Act to protect these critical areas so that they can be enjoyed and studied for generations to come. It is common sense to prevent the application of these chemicals in National Marine Sanctuaries.”
Mucarsel-Powell, who says she is “glad” to be able to work with Rooney, is a member of the House Progressive Caucus and has championed Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s “Green New Deal.”
Mucarsel-Powell believes that “taking small steps” like this one will help prevent “harmful chemicals from reaching coral reefs”
“Coral reefs support more species per unit area than any other marine environment, including about 4,000 species of fish, 800 species of hard corals and hundreds of other species,” Rooney’s congressional office noted in a press release. “The commercial value of U.S. fisheries from coral reefs is over $100 million. Coral reefs may provide goods and services worth $375 billion each year.”
Rooney is looked upon as a “maverick” of Florida’s natural resources and for the global climate change argument, preferring to side with left-leaning environmental groups, than going along with what other more conservative members of congress are believe or say about climate change.