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Sandy dozen: 12 site-specific beach reads

May 25, 2011, 7:12 a.m.
ferris wheel reflects on beach

Photo: Wherever I Roam/Flickr

11 of 14

Santa Monica, Calif.

Book:Oceana: Our Endangered Oceans and What We Can Do to Save Them” by Ted Danson and Michael D’Orso (2011)

Perfect page-turning locale: Santa Monica, Calif.

Publisher’s description: “Most people know Ted Danson as the affable bartender Sam Malone in the long-running television series 'Cheers.' But fewer realize that over the course of the past two and a half decades, Danson has tirelessly devoted himself to the cause of heading off a looming global catastrophe — the massive destruction of our planet’s oceanic biosystems and the complete collapse of the world’s major commercial fisheries. In ‘Oceana,’ Danson details his journey from joining a modest local protest in the mid-1980s to oppose offshore oil drilling near his Southern California neighborhood to his current status as one of the world’s most influential oceanic environmental activists, testifying before congressional committees in Washington, D.C., addressing the World Trade Organization in Zurich, Switzerland, and helping found Oceana, the largest organization in the world focused solely on ocean conservation.”

Afterword: True story: Erstwhile TV barkeep Ted Danson kicked off his crusade to help protect the world’s oceans after an eye-opening visit to Santa Monica beach in the 1980s. Danson, a Santa Monica resident at the time, recounts encountering a sign that read: “Water polluted, no swimming.” Danson remarks: “Trying to explain that to my kid was hard. It got me questioning a lot of things.” Sure, “Oceana” is pretty much the most sobering thing you can read while relaxing at the beach, but you’ll be glad you did it.