The Golden Shore: California’s Love Affair With the Sea by David Helvarg
Recommended by Sylvia Wolfe
Librarian, Vista Branch
“On a per capita basis, California’s more than thirty-seven million people can claim less than two inches of coastline each, not even a thumb’s length of sand and rock overwashed by salt water. Yet what a glory that 1,100 miles of urban ocean and hidden wilderness coves, precipitous coastal cliffs, sea stacks, and wild beaches offers up.”
From that introduction, Helvarg takes the reader on a whirlwind journey of “our” part of the Pacific Ocean, starting with native life and uses, and moving on through more recent uses of the ocean as freight transport, as sports venue for surfing, swimming, diving and boating, as supplier of food, as a researcher’s cornucopia of animals and plants, as inspiration for artists and more. He rides with and interviews Navy personnel, Coast Guard members, and the woman in charge of the Port of Los Angeles. San Diego gets a chapter as a Navy town and figures prominently in the chapter on research and environment. Well written and a joy to read, this will open your eyes to all that the sea means to we Californians.