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Saved By the Sea: A Love Story with Fish Hardcover – May 11, 2010

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books; First Edition edition (May 11, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312567065
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312567064
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 6.6 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,405,808 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“Helvarg draws upon his unique experiences and background as an environmental journalist and documentary filmmaker, and writes in a clear and vivid style. He expands the readers’ awareness, hope and concern for the ocean environment. . . an inspiring read. And an important one."--San Francisco Chronicle

“Ever since the publication of his wave-making book Blue Frontier in 2001, David Helvarg has become the premier chronicler of America’s complex relationship with our oceans and coasts, our last frontier...In his new book, Saved by the Sea: A Love Story with Fish, Helvarg adds a new and moving dimension to his work by exploring his own personal relationships with the ocean and the three main women in his life: his mother, girlfriend, and sister.”--Honolulu Weekly

“There’s something special about writers who think deeply over decades about the ocean. In their memoirs, they seem to have globe-trotting lives, unhampered by ordinary boundaries and borders.”--LA Times

“This is a heartfelt tribute to the sea’s power and importance in our lives in addition to being a very human story that will resonate in the heart of every reader.”--Tucson Citizen
"In this inspiring memoir, an activist expands the reader's awareness of the ocean environment."
“An elegant memoir of a meaningful life.”--Kirkus Reviews

“A compelling picture of how deep those connections to the sea can run.”

"His writings can be read as both a memoir and a plea, but most of all, as a loving tribute to the natural world."--Sierra Magazine

“There are many books available that delve into the complexities of the oceans or detail the many facts and figures to document the threats faced by the oceans and the marine life within. But there are few that make a personal one-to-one connection… Saved by the Sea is a fascinating look at a man’s life and how the thread of the ocean is woven throughout. . . . Full of personal experiences that emphasize to the reader that mankind is connected to the sea, whether man knows it or not.”--RT Sea Blog

"Helvarg offers us a glimpse not only of his own amazing and often heartrending adventures in and around the ocean but also gives insight into the human condition....A great read from an outstanding writer."--PHILIPPE COUSTEAU, ocean explorer

“Read Saved by the Sea for pleasure, read it for adventure, read it because it conveys the gift of being allowed to slip into David Helvarg’s  world and  view the ocean, and humankind,  with profound new understanding.  But beware:  This book has the power to change the way you think about the world, about yourself, and the future of humankind.”--SYLVIA EARLE, ocean explorer and author of The World is Blue

"In this powerful story of love, loss, and resolve, Helvarg bares his heart and takes us through his life and across the oceans, letting us see that the antidote to all is simply to have something to believe in, and a cause to serve."--CARL SAFINA, author of Song for the Blue Ocean

"This is a love story, filled as most of them are with a certain amount of pain and a great deal of pleasure. David Helvarg has done an awful lot to protect the world's oceans, not least this fine piece of writing!"--BILL McKIBBEN, author of The End of Nature
“In David Helvarg’s remarkable life as journalist and activist, he has participated in and reported on many of the major events of the last five decades, from the Viet Nam War to Hurricane Katrina. Throughout his odyssey, Helvarg’s love of the sea has provided him both a cause to fight for and a cure for his ills.  In Saved by the Sea, the reader will discover why he cares, and why he continues to fight for the oceans—and why we all need to.”--TED DANSON, actor

About the Author

DAVID HELVARG is founder and president of the Blue Frontier Campaign, a Washington, D.C.-based organization working for ocean and coastal conservation. An award-winning journalist, he has written for the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Smithsonian, Popular Science, Sierra, and The Nation, and has produced more than forty documentaries for PBS, the Discovery Channel, and others. His previous books include The War Against the GreensBlue Frontier, 50 Ways to Save the Ocean, and Rescue Warriors. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

More About the Author

David Helvarg is President of the Blue Frontier Campaign ( and the author of six books, Blue Frontier, The War Against the Greens, 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 and the Peter Benchley Ocean Awards, the world's top marine conservation prize. He's 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, covered a range of issues from military science to the AIDS epidemic, and reported from every continent including Antarctica. An award-winning journalist, he produced more than 40 broadcast documentaries for PBS, The Discovery Channel, and others. His print work has appeared in publications including 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.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By RAL on September 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover
David Helvarg has a wonderful, easy to read style that is both heartfelt and humorous. Slightly irreverent and earnest without preaching, his travels and life take you from North Pole to South and to wonderful wet places in between. You will want to visit them all. You will want to save them all. Saved By the Sea is a love story, adventure and biography of an environmental warrior dedicated to reminding us to treasure and preserve beautiful things.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By VJ on August 17, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Beautiful autobiography of one of the most interesting lives and best writers of these times. The author's ability to clearly express the changes in the ocean, while telling us his own connection to the sea, makes this book one of the most informative, interesting and exciting environmental books out there.

David Helvarg uses his great talent for writing to inform the reader about the power and importance of the ocean in each of our lives. The data and analysis leaves the reader with a wealth of knowledge. Be prepared to learn, while laughing, smiling and tearing up!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Moggy on August 2, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I love David Helvarg's books, and this latest one is great too. This book is full of stories I will always remember. It is well-written, entertaining, touching and informative.
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By Dennis Doyle on February 2, 2011
Format: Hardcover
David Helvarg's book is both a reflection on the losses of those dear to him over the course of a lifetime of activism, investigating and reporting, and a call to all of us to save what we all must understand is vital to all life: the sea. I connected with this book in so many ways: I, too, spent my childhood in New Jersey - in my case "going crabbing" with my grandfather in the backwaters of Barnegat Bay. I bodysurfed the beaches in San Diego and became a local steward, volunteering to protect our shoreline. And I felt the sadness as my sister-in-law, also named Nancy, lost her battle to breast cancer -- resulting in my involvement in the local Komen for the Cure affiliate.

I finished the book last week and passed it on to my 15 year old son who quoted the disturbing data on the state of the sea in a paper he wrote. He is working on a speech he is writing regarding the contradictions inherent in how humans deal with sharks, again, based upon what he learned from this book. "Saved By The Sea: A Love Story with Fish" is not only inspiring, but is a perfect vehicle to help us pass the torch of hope to the next generation. Buy it and share it with you kids!
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