(Photo by Hawaiian Airlines: Approximately 1 million visitors a year flock to Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve on Oahu where hundreds of different life forms make their homes in the reef ecosystem. Hawaii Airlines and Raw Elements join forces to save coral reefs.)

Hawaii’s Coral Reefs and Reef Preservation

Why Raw Elements Sunscreen and Hawaiian Air are teaming up help protect this fragile ecosystem in the Hawaiian Islands

A flight on Hawaiian Airlines now includes a sample of Raw Elements sunscreen. The two companies have joined forces to create awareness and help protect Hawaii’s incredible coral reefs. Each flight will feature “Reefs at Risk“.  This short video was created by the airlines to educate guests on the impact of sunscreens on Hawaii’s coral reefs. Customer’s can also buy Raw Elements on flights for a discounted price.

Read more to find out how you can WIN BIG with Hawaiian Airlines and Raw Elements.


Why is Hawaiian Airline Advocating the Use of Raw Elements?

“Hawai‘i is a very special place, and we believe it is our kuleana, or responsibility, to care for our home,” said Avi Mannis, senior vice president of marketing at Hawaiian Airlines. “Through our partnership with Raw Elements, we encourage guests to join us in reducing the human impact on these delicate coral ecosystems.”

Raw Element CEO Brian Guadagno (Photo: Hawaiian Airlines)

Raw Elements is also excited to be making an impact.

“Partnering with Hawaiian Airlines to raise awareness of the critical state of Hawai‘i’s coral reefs is something we are incredibly proud of,” said Brian Guadagno, founder and CEO of Raw Elements. “Together, we are able to positively impact thousands of Hawai‘i-bound guests per day on safer sunscreen practices and preserving the reefs.”

Hawaii is Working to Save Coral Reefs

The coral reefs of Hawaiian have held importance throughout the culture of the islands. They are part of the mythology of Hawaii. The Kumulipo is a traditional chant that follows all of creation back to the beginning of time. It talks about the tiny coral polyp and the belief of it being the first living thing on the earth. Hawaiians traditional believe that we are all children of the ocean. So, to Hawaiians, protecting the coral polyp is vital to protecting all of creation.

Save Coral Reefs

Hard corals are supported by a skeleton made out of calcium carbonate, the same substance shellfish use to make their shells. (Photo Hawaiian Airlines)

“Hawaii’s reefs are among its most precious and fragile resources. They are living organisms that are extremely sensitive to environmental changes. There has been a forty percent decline in Hawaii’s coral reefs since 2011. Pollutants play a role in this loss, including more than 6,000 tons of sunscreens that end up in Island waters every year.” – Raw Elements

Coral Reefs

Hawaiian Airlines gives us the run down,

“Coral, the architect of our reefs, grows copiously in mounds, plates and fingers, in cauliflower shapes and nubby flats. Though sometimes it can look like rock at first glance, the coral reef is built by a tiny, clear, flower like animal hiding inside a calcium cup that it secretes around itself. Corals start as honeycomb-like colonies that grow over rocks and other hard surfaces near shore and even in deep, darker water where you wouldn’t expect them. When you are snorkeling, in many places everything beneath you is alive — and fragile — which is why the only good place to stand in the ocean is on sand.”

Protecting Hawaii’s Reefs

“The Hawaiian reef unfolds in undulating fields of green, yellow, pink and blue, all of it pulsing with life. For most of human history it grew abundantly and created bed and breakfast for countless fishes, urchins, eels, octopuses, marine snails, and us. You can think of the reef as a city, full of sheltering nooks and food; and without the reef, ever-growing, there is nowhere for many animals to live and nothing to eat, for them or for us. The rise of commercial harvesting and uninformed, careless ocean recreation practices in the late 20th century started to make itself felt on the reef, with both visible and not so visible damage. Now, in response, we must all do the best we can to keep our reefs healthy and supported, because they support us and because it’s the right thing to do.” – Hawaiian Airlines

Save Coral Reefs Hawaiian Airlines Raw Elements

Coral reefs are home to many fish and other creatures that feed primarily on microscopic and macroscopic algae growing on or near the reefs. (Photo: Hawaiian Airlines)

Ways you can protect our reefs:

  • Do not buy harvested Coral. It takes decades for coral to grow, please leave coral on our reefs instead of displaying them in our homes.
  • Use energy-efficient light bulbs throughout your home and business. These bulbs reduce greenhouse gases which threaten our coral reef systems.
  • Choose sustainable seafood and help protect our reefs from over fishing.
  • If you dive or snorkel, remember, “DO NOT TOUCH!” Coral is a live animal that can be hurt or even killed by the oils in our skin. We can also damage coral by stirring up sediment on a reef and suffocating polyps. When you dive, be careful and protect the beauty we enjoy underwater.
  • Feeding fish is illegal in some places. But, it’s a good idea not to do it anywhere in the world. Human food is bad for fish and also disrupts the natural cycles on a reef.
  • Practice safe boating. Anchor away from coral and seagrass beds.
  • Conserve water whenever you can. Every time we turn on a faucet, the water that goes down the drain contributes to runoff that eventually ends up in our oceans.
  • Volunteer to help keep our beaches and local waterways clean.
  • Don’t send chemicals into our oceans. Consider using environmentally friendly cleaners and fertilizers. Take a careful look at your sunscreen, or even trade it in for a hat and a sunshirt or rashguard.

How Sunscreen Hurts Our Reefs

There is increasing evidence that your sunscreen may be toxic to corals. According to Hawaiian Airlines, “An estimated 20,000 people enter the ocean around just the island of Maui every day.  If half of those people apply only a 1/2 ounce of sunscreen (less than the recommended amount), between 50-70 gallons of sunscreen wash into the water, one swimmer at a time, on that day.  Imagine allowing someone to back a truck up to the beach to dump a barrel of sunscreen in the water. Unthinkable, but person by person, that is what is happening, and just on Maui, on one day.”

Save Coral Reefs


25 percent of all animals in the ocean call our reefs home. And, these fish often end up on our plates. Reefs also help protect our coastlines from erosion, Reef sustain healthy currents and preserve our surf breaks. They are a tiny animal that is vital to the future of our oceans. Join us in making a difference for future generations.


save coral reefs




Win With Hawaiian Airlines & Raw Elements

save coral reefsRaw Elements USA is hosting a social media sweepstakes this month to celebrate the launch of the partnership. United States residents may enter for a chance to win two roundtrip tickets (140,000 Hawaiian Miles) to Hawaii courtesy of Hawaiian Airlines, a five-night stay at The Surfjack Hotel and Swim Club (an Aqua-Aston Hospitality Hotel), the choice of three complimentary island activities, and a year’s supply of Raw Elements reef-safe sunscreen.

More details about the partnership are available at HawaiianAirlines.com/ReefPreservation. For sweepstakes rules and information on how to enter, please visit RawElementsUSA.com/Pages/Protect-the-Reef-Sweepstakes.