The next time you plan a trip to the Keys, forget about packing sunscreen. We’re not saying you should expose yourself to the sun’s ultraviolet rays and risk getting a sunburn — we’re just saying that The Marker Key West Harbor Resort is making sure you’re covered.
In partnership with Reef Relief, a nonprofit dedicated to improving and protecting coral reef systems, the 96-room waterfront resort has installed two mineral sunscreen dispensers provided by Raw Elements. These are the first public, reef-friendly dispensers in all of the state, a game-changing move for its sun-seeking guests with easy access to a sunscreen option that’s kinder to marine life.
The sunscreen is broad spectrum SPF 30+ and is water resistant for 80 minutes.
“This initiative will serve as another testament to our ongoing dedication to providing guests with the utmost care while showing our appreciation and support for ocean and wildlife conservation,” said The Marker’s General Manager Yunior Rodriguez.
In 2015, the National Ocean Service reported that a team of international scientists had found that the chemical oxybenzone, which is commonly used in sunscreens, “is highly toxic to juvenile corals and other marine life.” Researchers have documented how both oxybenzone and octinoxate, another common type of UV filter, have been harming reefs, leading to bleaching, DNA damage and even death of the corals.
In celebration of the milestone, The Marker will host an event on World Reef Day, June 1st, a national holiday founded by Raw Elements. It will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. at the hotel’s pool lounge and will feature live music, a special Papa’s Pilar cocktail, scientific artifacts provided by the Reef Relief team, and a silent auction benefiting Reef Relief. Valued at over $3,500, silent auction items include products and gift cards from Salt Life, MANG, Papa’s Pilar, and Raw Elements and even a two-night stay at The Marker.
Additionally, Key West artist Jorge de la Torriente of DE LA Gallery will create a limited-edition 24-by-36-inch signed and numbered framed print dedicated to reef conservation valued at $2,500. The event is free and open to hotel guests and locals.
Leading up to the national holiday, the resort and Raw Elements are also launching a promotional sweepstakes, valued at $2,000, for more giveaways. From May 16 – June 1, click here to check out the sweepstakes.
You can find the reef-safe sunscreen in dispensers at The Marker Key West, located at 200 William St., just steps from lively Duval Street and Mallory Square.