This morning offered an early start for a room full of special invitees who gathered at the storied 21 Club in midtown for a private breakfast and discussion on ocean conservation from actor and author, Ted Danson. While most remember him as the infamous Sam Malone from his Cheers sitcom days, many are not aware that he is a devotee to preserving our oceans.
When his children were younger, Danson and his wife (actress Mary Steenburgen) often took family walks on the beach near their Los Angeles home. One particular morning they discovered that their local beach was closed due to hazardous waste found in the water. He found it difficult to explain to his kids why such a beautiful beach would be toxic for them to swim and play in its waters. This was the beginning of many questions that led him to pursue answers from some of the world’s leading scientists and most ardent activists.
Danson’s latest book, OCEANA: Our Endangered Oceans and What We Can Do to Save Them, focuses on his twenty-five years of activism and shares why he cares so deeply about the environment. The book is a collaborative effort with the Oceana organization, and encourages readers throughout its pages to not only educate themselves on the issues, but to adopt practices within their own households that will protect our oceans from future harm.
The conservation efforts discussed in the book touch on many realms of ocean life, from offshore drilling to commercial boating, protection of our coral reef system, and sustaining our fisheries. Danson emphasizes that all life is dependent on the health of our ocean, and that it is important for change to happen now in order to prevent major fallouts in the future.
He jokingly refers to himself as having a “Pollyanna” attitude, and how his eternal optimist spirit pushes him to believe that using his celebrity to draw attention to this subject will ultimately have a positive effect. Danson recently garnered media coverage for his testimonies at the U.S. Senate and in Alaska regarding oil drilling. He will continue to promote the cause in New York for this year’s upcoming Earth Day celebrations.
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