Surfers are a hardy bunch, as Dr. Serge Dedina makes clear in his fascinating mew book. Even a bad shark bite cannot deter a dedicated surfer from entering the ocean-or loving it.
Dedina, the brilliant and maverick surfer-philosopher-environmentalist from Imperial Beach, captures the majesty and mystery of our oceans in, “Wild Sea: Eco Wars and Surf Stories From The Coast of The Californias.”
He challenges people to be active by touching their hearts with personal stories from an array of people who live off and love the oceans of the Californias.
As executive director of WiLDCOAST/COSTASALVAjE, Dedina’s outside the box approaches to multi national environmentalism has helped save beaches, wildlife, and people. His book has a similar mission.
Dedina’s ability to conduct intimate interviews helps establish a relationship with environmental concerns. In one portion of the 168-page book, he interviews local fishermen who live near Magdalena Bay, the famous grey whale breeding ground. Through their stories, the reader can see the bay through the fishermen’s eyes. An ocean is a way of life.
Dedina successfully gets his message across with assertiveness and urgency, but without coming off as preachy. This makes the reader more open to hearing what he has to say and taking a real interest in the issues he promotes.
He warns us about the subtle and overt destruction of the coasts and the repercussions through the personal stories of people who live and work on the ocean and shoreline of the California and Baja. Baja’s fishermen agree they also care about the coast, and want to save it for their children and grandchildren.
Dedina grew up in Imperial Beach, and spent many days with his family out on the ocean, surfing the sunlight away. Now he fights to preserve the coast for future his two sons. He was honored last year as the Southwestern College honorary degree recipient.
Dedina used many clever and ingenious tactics to get his message across. He has involved the local punk scene, was an advisor on the HBO show, “John From Cincinnati,” and teaming up with a popular luchador, El Hijo del Santo, to make videos that promote saving our coastal regions. WiLDCOAST is known for its proactive campaigns to save sea turtles and sharks.
Dedina tells a story of hope and continued ambition to protect and preserve, not just the coastlines of California, but also the natural beauty of the world. “Wild Sea,” is an important and thought-provoking book. Best of all, it is a fun read.