Wild Sea
168 pages, 6 x 9
Release Date:15 Mar 2011
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Wild Sea

Eco-Wars and Surf Stories from the Coast of the Californias

The University of Arizona Press
Many people have lamented the pollution and outright loss of beaches along the coasts of California and Mexico, but very few people have fought on behalf of beaches as hard—or as successfully—as Serge Dedina. Whether taking on an international conglomerate or tackling a state transportation agency, Dedina is truly an eco-warrior. In this sparkling collection of articles, many written for popular magazines, Dedina tells the stories as only an insider could. He writes with a firm grasp of facts along with an advocate’s passion and outrage. Sprinkled with just the right mix of humor and surf lingo, Dedina’s writing is “weapons grade”—surfer speak for totally awesome.

Dedina grew up in Imperial Beach, California, just north of the Mexican border, and he feels equally at home in Mexico and the States. An expert on gray whales, he eloquently describes the fight he helped to lead against the Mitsubishi Corporation, whose plan to build a salt-processing plant in the San Ignacio Lagoon in Baja California would have destroyed the world’s last undeveloped gray whale lagoon. With similar fervor, Dedina describes helping to construct the unlikely coalition that succeeded in defeating a proposed toll road that would have decimated a legendary California surf spot.

In between, he writes about the first surfers in Baja, the Great Baja Land Rush of the 1990s, Tijuana’s punk music scene, the pop-culture wrestling phenomenon lucha libre, the reasons why ocean pollution must be stopped, and the way HBO took over his hometown. Anyone interested in what’s happening to our natural places or just yearning to read about someone really making a difference in the world will find this a book worth sinking their teeth into.
Serge Dedina is co-founder and executive director of WiLDCOAST/COSTASALVAjE, an international organization that conserves coastal and marine ecosystems and wildlife. He earned his PhD in geography from the University of Texas and has been surfing since 1977.
List of Maps
List of Illustrations
Introduction: Conflict and Conservation on the Coast of the Californias
Part I The Baja California Peninsula
1 The First Surfers in Baja California
2 Magdalena Bay’s People of the Mangroves
3 How Saving Whales Advances Democracy
4 Protecting Mexico’s Natural Heritage
5 Life for the Sea: Fishermen and Surfers in Baja California
6 The Baja California Land Rush
Part II The U.S.–Mexico Border
7 Searching for Cartolandia
8 Lucha Libre: Wrestling for Life in Tijuana
9 Viva Luis! Punk Rock and Politics on the Border
10 Waiting for the Border Watchers
11 Terminal with Extreme Prejudice: Fighting Chevron-Texaco’s Invasion of the Coronado Islands
12 Brown Water on the Border
13 Hasta la Bye Bye to Bajagua
Part III Southern California
14 Watermen: Tales of the Tijuana Sloughs
15 Indian Summer: A Surfer’s Guide to the Fall
16 Saving the Seals of La Jolla
17 The New Rockford Files Goes Blue
18 The O.C. Meets South Park at the ASR
19 From Fast Times to David Milch: A Brief Cultural History of San Diego
20 HBO Invades Dogtown in Imperial Beach
21 Saving Trestles, Part I: Surfing with Schwarzenegger
22 Saving Trestles, Part II: Five Lessons from Big Wednesday
23 Saving Trestles, Part III: Rumble in Del Mar
24 Surfing Can Change the World
Epilogue: Reclaiming the Coast
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