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Hawaii suncreen law topic of Wednesday zoom presentation

Questions involving Hawaii’s law banning suncreens containing the reef harming chemicals oxybenzone and octinoxate will be answered during a free presentation at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday via Zoom. Maui Nui Marine Resource Council courtesy photo

The Maui News

Questions involving Hawaii’s ban on sunscreens containing the reef harming chemicals oxybenzone and octinoxate will be answered during a free presentation at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday via Zoom.

The presentation titled “Education vs. Enforcement: Next Steps Beyond the Enactment of Hawaii’s Sunscreen Law” is sponsored by the County of Maui Mayor’s Office of Economic Development and hosted by Maui Nui Marine Resource Council as part of the organization’s “Know Your Ocean Speaker Series.” More events part of this series are held monthly via Zoom.

Dr. Craig Downs, whose groundbreaking research educated the world about sunscreen chemicals and their role in coral reef decline, will be a special guest speaker of this presentation.

Downs has received his Ph.D. from the University of Hawaii in cell and molecular biology, has published over 50 scientific papers and a number of book chapters in scientific textbooks, and is the co-editor of the CRC press veterinary book, “Diseases of Corals.”

Downs has held positions as research professor at University of Hawaii’s School of Medicine and Sweet Briar College. He is currently an invited professor at Sorbonne University (France) and is the Executive Director of Haereticus Environmental Laboratory, a non-profit scientific organization.

Hawaii Senator Mike Gabbard, who authored the legislation that resulted in Hawaii’s ban on the sale of suncreens containing oxybenzone and octinoxate, will also speak at the presentation.

Gabbard, who has represented District 20 since 2006, which includes Kapolei, Makakilo, and portions of Kalaeloa, Waipahu, and Ewa, has authored 54 bills that became law relating to energy efficiency, renewable energy, endangered species protection, industrial hemp, the environment, public safety, and more.

The speakers plan to address whether sunscreen pollution is a symptom of unsustainable tourism and coastal development, how we get visitors and residents to comply with the new sunscreen law, and who is responsible for enforcing it.

Information and tips on how to protect the marine environment will also be provided by this panel.

Darla Palmer-Ellingson, local radio show host of the public affairs program, Island Environment 360 Maui’s only commercially broadcast public affairs show on environmental and related Hawaiian cultural topics, aired on the stations of H-Hawaii Media will be the virtual event’s emcee.

This free webinar requires advanced reservations. Reserve a spot at http://bit.ly/SunscreenWebinar.

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