cover image Ocean's End Travels Through Endangered Seas

Ocean's End Travels Through Endangered Seas

Colin Woodard, Colin Woodward. Basic Books, $26 (320pp) ISBN 978-0-465-01570-2

Drawing on his travels across six continents and 100,000 miles, Woodard skillfully supports his argument that pollution, harmful fishing practices, ignorance and global warming are destroying the world's oceans. A global affairs writer for the Christian Science Monitor, he swam through algae and human sewage in the Dead Sea, dived among both pristine and bleached coral reefs in the Caribbean waters around Belize and braved the glaciated coasts of Antarctica to see the melting polar ice sheets. With vivid, detailed descriptions, he successfully brings to life the fascinating mysteries of marine science. Most engaging and poignant are Woodard's myriad interviews with people living alongside troubled oceans. From Newfoundland fishermen, out-of-work since the Grand Banks' massive cod stocks were exhausted, to beleaguered residents of the Pacific Ocean's Marshall Islands, who battle fast-encroaching waters and continued contamination from American nuclear weapons testing, he uncovers a colorful cast of scientists, officials, activists, divers and religious missionaries who attest to the human and economic costs of ecological decline. Woodard also outlines strategies that, he contends, must be taken to save our seas. Although his approach is somewhat one-sided, it is a sobering call to action for those interested in the plight of the world's oceans. (Apr.)