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“Walking the Walk”

Biodegradeable Reef Safe SunCare available to staff and visitors at Maui Ocean Center

ORMOND BEACH, FL (January 5, 2011): Miles apart and separated by vast sea and land, two like-minded organizations join efforts to preserve our environment and ocean waters. Reef Safe™ SunCare by Beach Buff® of Ormond Beach, Florida, and Maui Ocean Center in Wailuku, Hawaii, have created a partnership to educate visitors to the center about the importance of using biodegradeable sun care products that are non-toxic to sea-life.

Along with other environmentally-conscious products like recycled bamboo shirts and recyclable bags, Reef Safe SunCare products are available in the Maui Ocean Center gift shop. You’ll also see the Reef Safe logo on new co-branded rash guards and dive suits worn by the staff and educators. Ask a staff member about Reef Safe, and they’ll tell you about its positive effects on the ocean and marine life.

“With over 300,000 visitors per year, we realize the power that our staff and educators have on advocating ocean preservation. With the buzz about the ‘Great Pacific Garbage Patch’ and the Maui plastic bag ban going into effect, the time is crucial to educate our future generations about sustainability,” says John Gorman, Curatorial Manager at Maui Ocean Center (http://www.mauioceancenter.com). “While we have everyone’s attention, we hope to get the message across that’s it’s important to use products like Reef Safe which can really back up their claim of being able to protect our beautiful ocean.”

Reef Safe SunCare (www.reefsafesuncare.com) was introduced by Tropical Seas® of Ormond Beach, FL, as a sunscreen proven through a series of independent laboratory tests to biodegrade in oceans, lakes and rivers. While protecting fragile ecosystems, it also shields our skin from harmful rays. Reef Safe’s non-toxic to sea-life formula and biodegradeable claim is scientifically substantiated, a testimonial that no other sun care products on the market can make. The product line has been a hit among the avid-diver and water sportsman community so distribution to Hawaii and the Caribbean Islands was an obvious step forward for the company.

“Being featured at the 2010 Maui Whale Festival and partnering with Maui Ocean Center has created a visibility for Reef Safe to an audience that is just as committed to protecting their environment as we are,” says Dan Knorr, CEO and President of Tropical Seas, Inc. “Roughly 4,000 to 6,000 metric tons of toxic sunscreens are estimated to wash off swimmers into the oceans every year, creating damage to our coral reefs and other sea life. This is a concern to us, and we hope this partnership will help us spread the concern out to the Pacific Island audience.”

Just recently, a Plastic Bag Reduction Ordinance was signed for all plastic bags to be banned in the State of Hawaii and Maui County starting on Jan. 11, 2011. One of the many reasons for the ban was that plastic bags contribute to potential death of marine animals through ingestion and entanglement. Now more than ever, Maui Ocean Center recognizes the importance of aligning with a company like Reef Safe that shares the common goal of their State’s ordinance: reduce harm to sea-life. The Center’s mission is “To foster understanding, wonder, and respect for Hawaii’s marine life,” and they feel Reef Safe has a proven product that meets their same standard of respect.

“Just a claim on the bottle or on marketing materials isn’t enough,” says Tapani Vuori, Retail Director at Maui Ocean Center. “Scientific testing shows us that Reef Safe ‘talks the talk and walks the walk.’ Reef Safe is the type of product we want to be associated with and will be proud to display.”

Reef Safe SunCare by Beach Buff sunscreens are available in resort locations across the U.S. Sunbelt, Hawaii and throughout the Caribbean islands, and online.

About Reef Safe SunCare

ReefSafe™ SunCare by Beach Buff®, manufactured and distributed by Ormond Beach, Fla. based Tropical Seas, Inc., addresses well-documented concerns about the damage done to reefs and marine life by the 4,000 to 6,000 metric tons of toxic sunscreens estimated to wash off swimmers into the oceans every year. Reef Safe sunscreens were subjected to a comprehensive series of independent laboratory tests to support and authenticate the biodegradability of the lotions. The research found that Reef Safe SunCare products biodegrade, on average, less than 90 days in seawater and freshwater. No evidence of toxicity to microorganisms and other sea life was detected. Research also found that Reef Safe’s waterproof formula allows less than three percent of the product to come off in water, which compares favorably to the estimated 25 percent of mass-market brand lotions that come off in water.

About Maui Ocean Center

The mission of the Maui Ocean Center is to foster understanding, wonder and respect for Hawaii’s marine life.  Maui Ocean Center was named “Top-Rated Attraction in Hawaii” by Zagat Survey U.S. Family Travel Guide, a “Leader in Responsible Tourism” on the Top 100 Blue List by Islands Magazine, and “Best Value Family Attraction in Maui” by the readers of Up! Magazine.  This state-of-the-art marine park is centrally located in oceanfront Ma‘alaea, within minutes of Maui’s major resort areas, and is open daily from 9am-5pm, and 9am-6pm in July and August.

For more information please contact the Maui Ocean Center: 192 Ma‘alaea Road, Ma‘alaea, HI 96793; telephone 808.270.7000, facsimile 808.270.7070, e-mail info@mauioceancenter.com  or visit website www.mauioceancenter.com.


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Media Contact

Laurie D. Fontenot
229-834-4140
laurie@lacadian.com