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David Helvarg
David Helvarg is Executive Director of Blue Frontier ( and author of The War Against the Greens, Blue Frontier, 50 Ways to Save the Ocean, Rescue Warriors, Saved by the Sea and The Golden Shore. He's editor of the Ocean and Coastal Conservation Guide, organizer of ‘Blue Vision’ Summits for ocean activists, Co-Founder of the Peter Benchley Ocean Awards 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, National Geographic, Popular Science, Sierra, and The Nation. 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

Where the Candidates Stand on Offshore Oil

(0) Comments | Posted February 18, 2016 | 5:01 PM

Today's arguments being made by the Offshore Oil Industry about proposed new exploration and drilling leases off the Atlantic coast remind me of the Bill Murray movie 'Groundhog Day' where everything keeps repeating itself. Their insistence about safer new drilling technologies, tens of thousands of local jobs and how oil...

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Disney's Finest Hours is About a Different Kind of Military Power

(0) Comments | Posted February 10, 2016 | 9:13 AM

In the book turned latest Disney action movie The Finest Hours, Chris Pine plays real-life Coast Guard hero Bernie Webber. In February 1952 Webber and his crew of three saved 32 of 33 sailors trapped on the stern end of the Pendleton, a ship that split in two during a...

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Benchley Ocean Award Winners Bring Hope to Troubled Seas

(0) Comments | Posted January 11, 2016 | 1:42 PM

What does the president of a Pacific Island nation, a New York Times reporter, a French sailing expedition and the mayor of a small San Diego border town have in common? They are among the eight winners of the 2016 Peter Benchley Ocean Awards, the world's preeminent honors for ocean...

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A Wild Salmon Talks Smack to a GMO Fish

(0) Comments | Posted December 3, 2015 | 7:05 PM

Call me Sam. I'm on a heroic, Homeric journey that's taken me down this great river to the sea and then several years in the ocean where I became a voracious predator of krill and shrimp and fellow fish and then unerringly returned as an older and wiser salmon to...

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When the Tea Party Met the Sea Party

(0) Comments | Posted November 18, 2015 | 2:45 PM

So what do conservative Reps. Curt Clawson of Florida and Mark Sanford of South Carolina, liberal Rep. Sam Farr of California, climate activist Bill McKibben, a former petroleum engineer, an evangelical minister and a surfer all have in common? No, it's not a joke. They all spoke out against offshore...

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Have We Boomed the Ocean?

(1) Comments | Posted September 25, 2015 | 1:23 AM

Remember the 1970s? Bell bottoms, disco fever, Billy Carter, the Bicentennial, and twice the number of fish, birds and marine mammals in the world's ocean? That's right, overfishing and other environmental disasters have cut the population of the ocean's most evolved creatures (those with spines) nearly in half, according to...

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Excerpt: The Coast Guard's First Rescue

(0) Comments | Posted August 26, 2015 | 2:47 PM

The following is excerpted from my book: Rescue Warriors - The U.S. Coast Guard America's Forgotten Heroes (now in paperback).

Friday, August 26, 2005

The crew of the fishing boat Mary Lynn pitched and rolled in raging forty-foot seas, eighty-five miles west of Key West. With their controls gone and...

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Writers for the Sea Is the Next Wave in Literature

(0) Comments | Posted July 29, 2015 | 7:17 PM

As I recently reported in Publishers Weekly Writers for the Sea is a new organization formed on June 8, 2015--World Oceans Day--and already making a splash offering many enthralling ways of describing our salty blue marble planet. What prompted the creation of Writers for the Sea?

"Who hears the...

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Alien Invaders Support Arctic Drilling

(4) Comments | Posted July 28, 2015 | 4:11 PM

Now that NASA has identified our "earth like" planet, what you call Kepler 452b and we call what sounds to you like an alligator puking, I guess we no longer need to pretend that we're just oil company CEOs working to make you energy independent of your puny sun and...

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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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