David Helvarg grew up watching Sea Hunt and Jacque Cousteau specials and bugging his mother to take him to the beach. While he thought he’d become an oceanographer life took him in another direction and he became an award-winning journalist, war reporter and private investigator, also a bodysurfer and diver. After writing his first ocean book, ‘Blue Frontier’ he founded the Blue Frontier Campaign in 2003 to try and mobilize solution-oriented grassroots (what he calls Seaweed) ocean activists who were offering effective solutions to the problems facing our public seas.
Why are you Marching for the Ocean, and why should the rest of Americans (and the world for the matter) March?
We get so much from the ocean in terms of oxygen, rain, recreation, transportation, trade, food, national security, wind, wonder and awe, it’s time we gave something back. Only by mobilizing in our millions to Wear Blue for the Ocean and March for the Ocean on June 9, during World Oceans Day weekend, can we begin to demonstrate the power of people acting together to turn the tide for a healthy ocean and clean water for all.
Unfortunately we now have an administration in D.C. that sees the ocean as little more than a gas station and a garbage dump, which is why we’ll also march to stop offshore oil drilling, end plastic and other forms of ocean pollution and protect our coasts at risk from climate disruption. The Ocean is Rising and So Are We!
What kind of involvement have you seen from both ends of the political spectrum in the US (Left versus Right) in regards to the oil drilling controversy? Are both parties generally on the same page (against drilling) or is there a significant divide?
While our two parties leaders have divided over expanding fossil fuel production versus job-generating clean energy, on the ground and by the water the divide is less partisan. Many elected officials representing coastal constituencies are now part of a groundswell of opposition to drilling and spilling both because it puts our already healthy blue economies at risk from another BP type-disaster and because of product liability – this product, used as directed overheats our atmosphere, our ocean and intensifies hurricanes like last season’s Harvey, Irma and Maria. That’s why we’ll be marching at the beginning of the 2018 hurricane season.
Photos: David Helvarg