Today I started a “Listmania” list of MarineBio’s favorite references in our marine science library and realized how many books I’d read that had a huge influence on my passion for marine conservation. The first was Sylvia Earle’s “Sea Change: A message of the Oceans” – I dragged this book to the beach year after year during my annual vacation to the Florida panhandle but always pushed it aside in favor of sailing narratives or novels. When I finally sat down on the beach and began to read it — I couldn’t put it down. Dr. Earle takes us on a journey to the deep sea as she recounts her many adventures underwater. She also gives a sobering account of the numerous threats facing the ocean and offers solutions to fix them. It was this book that made me question why I wasn’t exploring the depths of the ocean rather than sitting on the beach admiring its surface and, later, it made me question why I wasn’t doing something to help protect the ocean that had fascinated me since I was a small child. Now, hopefully through my work with MarineBio, I am. And I have Dr. Earle to thank for that.

I’m also a big fan of the writings of Rachel Carson, particularly “The Sea Around Us” and “The Edge of the Sea” and Dr. Carl Safina is also an amazing writer on ocean issues with his “Song for the Blue Ocean” and “Eye of the Albatross”.

What are your favorites?