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From the first human settlements to the latest marine explorations, The Golden Shore tells the tale of the history, culture, and changing nature of California’s coasts and ocean. Author David Helvarg takes the reader on both a geographic and literary journey along the 1,100-mile Pacific coastline, from the Oregon border to the San Diego/Tijuana international border fence and out into its whale-, seal-, and shark-rich offshore seamounts, rock isles, and kelp forests.
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$1 from the sale of each book will be donated to Blue Frontier Campaign.

In this compelling book, which Bill McKibben calls “the most comprehensive account available of the state of our nation’s oceans, and the best reporting on how they got that way,” veteran journalist David Helvarg fuses his passion for the sea and his reportorial savvy into a panoramic chronicle of America’s maritime history and the challenges that our coastal and marine environments face today. He dives deep into the cultures of those who know the sea in myriad ways—fisherfolk, oil-rig roughnecks, hurricane forecasters, coastal developers, navy personnel, scientists, and surfers—and profiles the growing efforts by coastal citizens and local governments to restore and protect the health of our oceans in the face of wide-open development along our coasts and offshore. Demonstrating how national policymaking on the oceans is enmeshed in a welter of competing jurisdictions, he argues for strong omnibus legislation and the creation of truly protected marine wilderness reserves.

Superbly researched, urgently written, and thoroughly updated, Blue Frontier is engrossing and essential reading for anyone concerned about saving America’s ocean wilderness.

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“Saved by the Sea” comes out with Thomas Dunne Books (an imprint of St. Martin’s) in May. Ocean Explorer Sylvia Earle says, “This book has the power to change the way you think about the world, about yourself, and the future of humankind.” Helvarg writes what he knows about the changes in his life and our Ocean world over the last half century.
From bodysurfing in Central American war zones, diving barrier reefs with his tragically fated love, Nancy, or being bumped by a whale off Antarctica, David Helvarg has lived a life often as endangered as the ocean he now works to protect. Saved by the Sea is the story of this longtime journalist’s personal love, loss, and redemption in the free-flowing heart of our blue-marble planet.
This eloquent and honestly told tale of the changes in one man’s journey and the world’s ocean over the last half-century is also a profound, startling, and sometimes surprisingly funny reflection on the state of our seas and the intimate ways in which our lives are all linked to the natural world around us. Saved by the Sea will bring salt water to your eyes and small waves of hope to your heart.

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Robert Kennedy Jr. says, “David Helvarg’s terrific new book takes you to the cutting edge of adventure as he rides along with the men and women of the U.S. Coast Guard. This in-depth and lively look at the history and changing missions of America’s ‘Rescue Warriors’ should be considered a must-read for anyone who loves the water or cares about the safety, security, and stewardship of our nation from sea to shining sea.”

Bill McKibben writes, “They say that ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help’ is the ultimate oxymoron. But as this vivid book makes powerfully clear, in the case of the Coast Guard, it’s the simple truth. Stow this volume next to the chart case.”

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Helvarg is the editor of Blue Frontier Campaign’s first major publication: The Ocean and Coastal Conservation Guide (2005), a directory for those interested in the protection and restoration of United States coastal lands and waters. Blue Frontier Campaign plans to publish a new edition of the guide every two years.

This reference book lists over 2,000 organizations involved in the conservation of the oceans and coastal areas that border the United States. Each entry includes contact information and a brief description of that organization’s activities. The directory is divided into four listings: a geographical listings of groups; relevant government agencies; academic marine programs; and marine and coastal parks, and protected areas.

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Helvarg’s second book, Blue Frontier— Dispatches from America’s Ocean Wilderness (2001, revised 2006), was named on the Los Angeles Times “Best Books of 2001” republished in 2006. In it Helvarg explores the effects of human activity in general, and of commerce and policy in particular, on marine life. He postulates a trend towards destruction, and suggests that it is possible to reverse this. He then describes some of the people and groups that are working to preserve or enhance the marine environment.

This book prompted Senator John Kerry to observe that “David Helvarg underscores the full measure of the challenges before us: If we hope to explore the Blue Frontier, we must travel cautiously, repairing the damage we have done, understanding before we exploit, and always preserving the natural systems that have created it.” It was also one of the catalysts for the establishment of the Blue Frontier Campaign and has become a definitive text for US marine conservation (characterized as ‘the Seaweed rebellion’).

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Sylvia Earle writes, “Combining widsom and humor, scientific accuracy and artistic genious, Helvarg and Toomey show why the ocean matters to us all…Everyone, from toddler to tycoon, can find inspiration for action in this must-have guide to ocean care.”

“This is a great book – it makes saving the oceans fun and doable (which it is, by the way)” adds actor Ted Danson “This book is an important guide for the public to saving our oceans.” – Leon Panetta, former chair – Pew Oceans commission, now Director of the CIA.

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