American Morning

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June 8th, 2009
06:51 AM ET

Ted Danson: Cheer for the world's oceans

Editor's note: Ted Danson is an Emmy Award-winning actor, a founding board member of Oceana, the world's largest international organization dedicated solely to ocean conservation, and narrator of a new film, "End of the Line." For more information about Oceana, read here.

Ted Danson says a 'closed' sign on a beach led him on a 20-year quest to save the world's oceans.

Ted Danson says a 'closed' sign on a beach led him on a 20-year quest to save the world's oceans.

By Ted Danson
Special to CNN

(CNN) - Today, Monday, June 8, we recognize the first U.N.-sanctioned World Oceans Day. The event comes after years of pressure from conservation groups and thousands of activists who clamored for everyone to know and understand what's happening in our oceans.

I became an ocean activist in 1987. It was the fifth year of "Cheers" and my family moved into a neighborhood that was on the water, in Santa Monica, California. One day I took my daughters to the beach to go swimming, but it was "closed" and I couldn't answer my daughter's question why.

That's really how it started. That and "Cheers" was paying me a lot of money and I felt I had better be responsible with it. So, I started to get involved.

It turned out in our new neighborhood there was a fight to keep Occidental Petroleum from drilling 60 oil wells on Will Rogers State Beach in Los Angeles. They wanted to slant drill into the Santa Monica Bay. The fight was led by a man named Robert Sulnick and we became great friends and found a way to beat them.

We enjoyed ourselves so much that we wanted to continue this work. So Robert Sulnick and I, full of passion and naiveté, started American Oceans Campaign, which ultimately became a part of Oceana. And, here I am, still at it, 20 years later - because our oceans are in trouble.

Keep reading this story

Watch: Ted Danson speaks to John Roberts on American Morning


Filed under: Environment
June 8th, 2009
06:49 AM ET

What’s on Tap – Monday June, 8th, 2009

South Korean conservative activists hold up pictures of US journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee, detained by the authorities in North Korea, during a rally calling for their freedom in Seoul on June 4, 2009. Getty Images
South Korean conservative activists hold up pictures of US journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee, detained by the authorities in North Korea, during a rally calling for their freedom in Seoul on June 4, 2009. Getty Images

Here are the big stories on the agenda today:

  • First breaking news... American journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee convicted of quote "grave crimes" and sentenced to 12 years hard labor in North Korea.  Washington is demanding North Korea release both women.  The State Department says it is deeply concerned and is working right now to secure their release. New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson knows a lot about negotiating the release of detained Americans in North Korea.  He's done it before – and he may be called on to do it again.   He’ll join us live to discuss how this situation needs to be handled moving forward.
  • New developments in the crash of Air France Flight 447.  The Brazilian Air Force says it's spotted more bodies floating in the ocean.  Seventeen were recovered over the weekend.  Investigators – now focusing on the jet's air speed sensors – as they try to find out what brought down the plane.
  • Gas prices – you feelin’ it?  They’re a hot topic on the AMFIX hotline.  Will the pumps have to hit four bucks again before the government does something about them?
  • “End of the Line.”  Actor Ted Danson narrated the new documentary, which focuses on the over-fishing of the world's waters.  Danson also testified before a congressional committee in February about offshore drilling.  He’ll join us on this  “World Oceans Day.”

Filed under: What's On Tap
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