World Reef Awareness Day - June 1
(Last Updated On: July 6, 2022)

World Reef Awareness Day - June 1


World Reef Awareness Day on June 1st is a call to action for consumers, businesses, and organizations to reflect on the delicate ecosystem of our ocean’s coral reefs. The day brings together the general public, influencers and opinion leaders to create active change through education and engagement.

Coral reefs are living communities of colonial organism made of individual polyps that excrete a bone-like skeleton. This skeleton forms large rock-like structures that are homes for thousands of organisms.

The health of a reef tells us a lot about the health of an ocean. Many fish and ocean animals rely on the protection of the healthy, living reef for spawning season. The reef provides more than protection; it also supplies a rich, thriving food chain. From plankton and algae to the largest sea creatures, the reef ecosystem is a significant life support system.

The benefits of a healthy reef ecosystem go far beyond the ocean:

  • essential to the plant and fish-life
  • contribute to a lively fishing industry
  • protect beaches and coastlines from erosion
  • acts as the oceans filter
  • provide life-saving medicines and
  • possibly the one animal on the planet capable of consuming plastic

In recent years, our most productive reefs have been in decline due to coral bleaching. For example, the Great Barrier Reef decreased by 40 percent. It’s even worse along the Florida Keys and Caribbean, where decline is between 85 to 99 percent! According to Dr. Craig Downs, Executive Director of Haereticus Environmental Lab, about 90 percent of the reefs in the Caribbean have disappeared since 1980.

What causes coral reefs to die off?

  • Rising sea temperatures
  • Industrial pollution, plastic pollution, sewage
  • Chemical sunscreens and
  • Unmanaged, high-density tourism all threaten coral reefs.

One easy step we can take to protect these precious resources is by wearing non-nano zinc oxide sunscreen

According to Dr. Craig Downs,”When ingredients are uncoated and nano-size (less than 100 nanometers in diameter), they can enter the cells of invertebrates and fish and cause tissue damage, stressing all these marine organisms. Your best bet is to go for non-nano zinc oxide larger than 150 nanometers. At that point, the acute toxicity drops off, and the impact to ecosystems is mitigated”


On World Reef Day, educate yourself and spread awareness about how we can make simple choices today to save our reefs for tomorrow.

  • Enter the World Reef Day sweepstakes to win a trip for 4 to Hawaii with reef-focused experiences – sweepstakes ends 6/2/19 at 11:59 pm
  • Join the viral social campaign by posting the World Reef Day tile and suggested caption. Download the World Reef Day toolkit to get started.
  • Attend the World Reef Day celebration in at Duke’s in Waikiki at 8 am on 6/1
  • Use #WorldReefDay to share on social media
  • For more information, visit

World Reef Day 2019 from Raw Elements USA on Vimeo.


Raw Elements founded World Reef Awareness Day on June 1st to inform the world about the importance of our reefs and how we can protect them.

The Registrar at National Day Calendar proclaimed World Reef Awareness Day to be observed on June 1 annually.

For general inquiries, please email and for media inquiries, please contact


Raw Elements USA®, a certified-natural sunscreen company that has pioneered the reef-safe movement with their non-nano zinc oxide based sunscreens, founded World Reef Awareness Day on June 1st in support of its focus on sustainability, responsibility, and education.

The day was created to inform the world about the importance of our reefs and how we can protect them. World Reef Day is the largest educational activity Raw Elements has carried out to date, and is in line with their active awareness campaigns which include partnerships Aqua-Aston Hospitality, Hawaiian Airlines, Marriott and the Shore Hotel, their sponsorship of grassroots efforts of nonprofits and environmental groups, support of the Safe Sunscreen Coalition, as well as support for research and lobbying for the Sunscreen Ban Bill in Hawaii (which was signed into law in July 2018).

The Registrar at National Day Calendar proclaimed World Reef Day to be observed on June 1 annually.

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