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David Helvarg
David Helvarg is President of the Blue Frontier Campaign ( and author of The War Against the Greens, Blue Frontier, 50 Ways to Save the Ocean, Rescue Warriors – The U.S. Coast Guard, America’s Forgotten Heroes and Saved by the Sea - A Love Story with Fish. He's editor of the Ocean and Coastal Conservation Guide, organizer of several ‘Blue Vision’ Summits for ocean activists, and winner of Coastal Living Magazine’s 2005 Leadership Award and the 2007 Herman Melville literary Award. Helvarg worked as a war correspondent in Northern Ireland and Central America and has reported from every continent including Antarctica. An award-winning journalist, he produced more than 40 documentaries for PBS, The Discovery Channel, and others. His print work has appeared in The New York Times, LA Times, Smithsonian, Popular Science, Sierra, and Parade. He’s done radio work for Marketplace, AP radio, and Pacifica. He’s led workshops for journalists in Poland, Turkey, Tunisia, Slovakia and Washington DC. He is a licensed Private Investigator, body-surfer and scuba diver.

Entries by David Helvarg

Our Ocean Crisis -- Solutions Are the Easy Part

(5) Comments | Posted June 1, 2015 | 9:28 AM

Over the last 64 years, the geologic nanosecond in which I've lived my life, 90 percent of the largest pelagic (open ocean) fish -- including hammerhead sharks, bluefin tuna and black marlin -- have been wiped out, along with close to half the world's tropical reefs....

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The Sea Party Rebellion

(3) Comments | Posted May 4, 2015 | 12:50 PM

Gas is cheap. America is pumping more domestic oil than at any time in the last 30 years. But two newly released science reports have reached disturbing conclusions. One in the journal Science states human activities threaten mass-extinction of marine life in the ocean, the other in the journal Nature...

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A Blue Vision Summit for Our Troubled Seas

(0) Comments | Posted April 7, 2015 | 11:09 AM

On Wednesday April 1st a Pemex oil-rig blew up in the Gulf of Mexico killing 4 workers with 3 missing and presumed dead, another 47 injured. Luckily no massive spill took place like with BP after its Deepwater Horizon blowout killed 11 workers and dumped 5...

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Can Chevron Buy Back My City on November 4?

(1) Comments | Posted October 21, 2014 | 2:45 PM

If the Supreme Court is right that corporations are people I need to take out a restraining order on Chevron. To date this oil company has pumped $3 million into the November 4 municipal election in Richmond, California, the low-income multiracial town of just over 100,000 where I...

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John Kerry, Prince Charles and The Economist's Ocean Davos

(0) Comments | Posted March 7, 2014 | 4:03 PM

"The Economist World Ocean Summit" in Half Moon Bay California at the end of February drew hundreds of attendees. A mix of global leaders, ocean luminaries, philanthropists, billionaires, the National Geographic Society and varied salt-water special interests ranging from shipping to BP, Chevron and Shell paid $2,000 or more each...

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The Coast Guard Still Needs Rescuing

(15) Comments | Posted October 24, 2013 | 3:40 PM

After 223 years you'd think the Coast Guard would have proved its usefulness to the nation. Instead, even after the government shutdown, its essential personnel still face unprecedented funding cuts and growing demands that threaten their ability to operate.

Although one of the nation's five armed services, the Coast...

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From Wildfire: The Next Generation of Heroes

(2) Comments | Posted July 3, 2013 | 9:30 AM

The tragedy of the 19 Hotshot firefighters from Prescott, Ariz., killed battling a sudden blaze in the ongoing heat and drought of Arizona and the Southwest deserves the nation's attention and respect. Unfortunately their sacrifice will not be the last among a new generation of warriors on the world's natural...

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Restoring the Blue

(1) Comments | Posted May 31, 2013 | 9:28 AM

Click here to read an original op-ed from the TED speaker who inspired this post and watch the TEDTalk below.

We've mapped less than 10 percent of the ocean with the resolution we've mapped 100 percent of the Moon and Mars, and yet when we send...

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A Gun Owner's Plea for Tougher Gun Laws

(224) Comments | Posted January 11, 2013 | 1:09 PM

I'm a gun owner. I went shooting at a local firing range with my nephew last weekend. One of my handguns I bought over 40 years ago. But I also have a niece who was shot and killed at her Connecticut college three years ago by a man she barely...

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Obama and Romney Speak Out on America's Public Seas

(0) Comments | Posted October 26, 2012 | 3:28 AM

Throughout the presidential campaign America's environment and climate crisis have gone un-noted and ignored, as has our largest wilderness frontier that is also a major driver of our economy, our public seas. America's ocean waters that provide recreation, transportation, trade, energy, protein and security got mentioned only in the context...

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Ocean Leaders to Obama & Romney: Support the Red, White but Also the Blue

(0) Comments | Posted August 16, 2012 | 12:14 PM

In a letter delivered to their campaigns on Aug. 14, sixty leaders in exploration, conservation, science and business -- including members of the Cousteau family, ocean leaders from Google, the dive industry, National Geographic, the National Aquarium and Coastal States Organization have called on presidential candidates Barack Obama and Mitt...

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A Wave of Honor for Peter Benchley Winners

(1) Comments | Posted May 31, 2012 | 10:57 AM

At a time when our public seas and the communities that depend on them are at risk from pollution, overfishing, habitat loss and fossil fuel-fired climate change, eight top ocean leaders, explorers, advocates and scientists will be honored on Friday, June 1 for their pioneering efforts on behalf of our...

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President of Kiribati Wins Top Ocean Award

(8) Comments | Posted March 23, 2012 | 4:30 PM

If you're not satisfied with how the leaders of the world's major powers including the U.S., China, India and Brazil are addressing climate change or protecting the ocean maybe you could direct their attention to Kiribati (pronounced Kirr-i-bas). Luckily this tiny islands nation has responsible leadership, which is why this...

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Obama, Nixon and NOAA

(0) Comments | Posted January 23, 2012 | 4:39 PM

In his recent announcement about reorganizing government, President Obama gave an example right out of my book Blue Frontier. "As it turns out, the Interior Department is in charge of salmon in fresh water, but the Commerce Department handles them in saltwater. Apparently, this all had something to do...

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9/11 From 200 miles Out at Sea

(1) Comments | Posted September 4, 2011 | 9:16 PM

I'm old enough to remember where I was the day Kennedy was shot and now where I was ten years ago on 9/11. Below is a brief excerpt from my memoir Saved by the Sea - A Love Story with Fish.
"Nice weather," Wayne, the ship's...

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President Obama Should Fulfill His Ocean Promise

(4) Comments | Posted July 20, 2011 | 10:08 AM

Tuesday July 19 marked the first anniversary of President Obama signing an Executive Order establishing the first ever National Ocean Policy for the United States to protect our public seas and the jobs and communities that depend on their health. So where are we one year out?

A recent...

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Jaws of Life -- The Peter Benchley Ocean Awards

(1) Comments | Posted May 31, 2011 | 1:53 PM

What do a high school student from LA, a scientist who studies the DNA of whales, the president of a Central American Nation, a former Coast Guard Commandant and a Washington Post reporter have in common? They're among the winners of this year's top ocean honors.

The fourth annual...

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Oil, Terror, Tuna and You

(1) Comments | Posted May 9, 2011 | 6:19 PM

We have to stop dumping radioactive water, oil and dead terrorists in our ocean and treat it with more respect which is why I'm headed to Washington D.C. later this month. OK, let me explain.

The end of Osama bin Laden hopefully marks the beginning of the...

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A Year After BP -- From Greenwashing to Bluewashing

(5) Comments | Posted April 20, 2011 | 9:47 AM

The National Ocean Policy Coalition has one aim -- to undermine America's National Ocean Policy. Why am I not surprised?

In 1994 I wrote a book called, The War Against the Greens, about how industries created anti-environmental front groups and nurtured a 'Wise Use' movement that, along with traditional rallies...

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Beyond Godzilla and 9/11

(7) Comments | Posted March 16, 2011 | 10:06 AM

It may be too soon to know if the expanding global access to electronic media both new and old, from video cell-phones and Facebook to Al-Jazera and CNN, is making the world more intimate or more alienated (remember "Compassion Fatigue"). What is clear is it's collapsing the lines...

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