Updated: Sep 7, 2021
Think of the ocean. What is the first sense that comes to mind? Is it the smell of pure, fresh, salty, sea air mixed with that ever so important suncreen? PURA by Lodha is a tailored skin care regimen suited for the most active and demanding lifestyles, while also being sustainable and caring towards our environment.
Dr. Saurabh Lodha is the founder of PURA, a board-certified dermatologist and soul of the organization. As a Coral Restoration Foundation™ sponsor PURA supports the conservation and restoration of these globally loved ecosystems.
Below Dr. Lodha shares his personal connection to coral reefs, and how he hopes to help them recovery and thrive, for future generations to love!
What is your earliest memory of the ocean?
This is a great question. For me it has always been a place of peace mixed with fun. As a kid, I remember going to Jones Beach on Long Island New York walking and walking on what seemed to be an endless beach filled with soft sand.
What is your favorite marine creature? I find all marine life fascinating. I scuba dive when I can, so I find it hard to pick an absolute favorite, but I would have to pick a Sea Otter. What fun, smart, and adorable creatures!
Have you experienced a healthy coral reef ecosystem? Unfortunately, I can't say I have. To experience a genuinely healthy reef it would have to be remote and I would love to do this one day. All of the reefs I have dived on and explored snorkeling have been wonderful, but the evidence of damage and the reduction in aquatic life year after year is sad.
Have you seen a badly degraded reef system?
Absolutely, they are all too common. I've actually seen a reef change over the years in the Bahamas from being healthy, to almost barren. It was astonishing and sad to witness
What concerns or scares you the most about climate change?
The biggest scare is that we are already in such a state it's hard to really change the trajectory of what is to come. I believe that science and human ingenuity will find a way, but we are not there yet. Why do you, personally, care about coral reefs?
I literally love the ocean. If I wasn't a physician, I may have become a marine biologist. I love nature in general, but there is something special about the ocean. It's mystery and majesty are inspiring for me.
Why is protecting and restoring coral reefs relevant to your brand?
Most sunscreens contain chemicals that harm coral reefs. It is important to provide people with quality products that don't affect our marine ecosystems, such as mineral based options. It is also key to educate people on how wearing the wrong sunscreen can impact the health of the ocean.
Why should the average person care about coral reefs?
Coral reefs, the ocean, are providers for life on earth. Without healthy coral reefs the oceans are not going to be a sustainable place. From the practical benefits or the blooms of plankton and phytoplankton helping with sucking up the CO2 from the atmosphere, to the simple beauty of seeing a healthy coral reef it is of utmost importance to protect our reefs. From a global and personal perspective it is an important and worthy cause. In your opinion, what are some of the most powerful tools at our disposal that we can apply to the mission to save coral reefs? Education and public awareness are two powerful tools. Each of us can make an impact by illustrating the importance of coral reefs to our friends and families, explaining how fragile these environments are, as well as simple steps we can all take a personal level to help.
What do you think are some of the easiest ways that the average person can join the mission to save coral reefs from extinction?
First, be aware. Know that each piece of plastic you use or leave on the beach can seriously have a detrimental effect on our oceans. So the average person can, learn more about recycling, try to be aware when using the beach not to pollute, be clean and make sure to learn as much as possible about the simple things you can do on a daily basis to help. Do you think there is hope for our coral reefs? There is always hope. And the ocean, wildlife, and nature are incredibly resilient. Not to be cheesy, but where there's a will there's a way.
We are thankful to have passionate ocean stewards supporting our mission and raising awareness about reef restoration and conservation!
Madalen Howard is CRF's Marketing Associate. Madalen comes to CRF™ via a winding road from the Tennessee hills, to the South Carolina low country, ending here in Florida’s Coral Reef. She earned her Bachelor's degree in Marine Biology and a Minor in Environmental Studies from the College of Charleston in 2016. Her experience ranges from field research to education, and communications.
Madalen spent the last 4 years as a Field Instructor and Social Media Strategist for MarineLab Environmental Education Center. Here she was able to study and teach marine ecology, while snorkeling through mangroves, seagrasses, and coral reefs every day. While at MarineLab she combined her education and research background, entered the world of communications, and developed MarineLab’s social media department from the ground up.
Throughout her life Madalen has had a skill connecting people with nature. With CRF™, she is excited to bring people into the world of coral restoration, creating inclusive pathways to scientific discovery.