“What if I really lived as if my voice mattered?”— Liz Cunningham

liz-cunningham-ocean author, ocean country, ocean conservation, marine conservation, save the ocean, For Liz Cunningham, what matters is the sense of connections that we make, and as she says “I think it’s key to our future. Our future depends upon seeing connections – biological, cultural, economic, political – and crafting our collective and individual lives with them in mind.”

Liz grew up outside New York but was drawn west to the Pacific Coast where she learned to scuba dive and race sailboats. Liz worked as an editor and writer for over fifteen years until a severe accident caused her to reassess her work and life’s purpose. She turned to writing about ocean conservation and in particular about the traits we as individuals need, to become stewards of the sea and to insure life on our planet. In her newly released book, Ocean Country, Liz suggests that “courage, and engaged, active hope and the ability to work together to find solutions” are some of the traits we need. Ocean Country also describes how Liz personally discovered those traits within herself.

“There’s an aboriginal saying that a true gift cannot be kept unless one gives it away.” Liz explains how this drives her writing “I need to write like that, at the edge of my existence, as the poet Turner wrote, with “nothing to lose and everything to give away.”

ocean-country Liz Cunningham, marine conservation, ocean author, sustainable choices, call to action, ocean activistOcean Country is an adventure story, a call to action, and a poetic meditation on the state of our ocean. Most importantly it is the story of finding true hope in the midst of one of the greatest crises to face humankind, the rapidly degrading state of our environment. After a near-drowning accident in which she was temporarily paralyzed, Liz Cunningham crisscrosses the globe in an effort to understand the threats to our dazzling but endangered oceans. This intimate account charts her thrilling journey through unexpected encounters with conservationists, fishermen, sea nomads, and scientists in the Mediterranean, Sulawesi, the Turks and Caicos Islands, and Papua, New Guinea.

“This book comes as a great gift—an overwhelming reminder of the ocean planet on which we live, with its great wonders and the risks it faces.”
—Bill McKibben, author of Earth and Oil and Honey

Ocean Country is a heroine’s journey of near-death and discovery, of hopelessness and rebirth. Cunningham’s odyssey reveals how immersion into the problems that overwhelm us is a blessing of self-discovery. Where there is carelessness, we find our tenderness; where there is human suffering, we find our sense of compassion. Where there is damage and degradation, we find faith in ourselves and know that human beings can both resist and change all human ignorance.”
—Paul Hawken, author of Blessed Unrest and director of Project Drawdown
“How we’re changing the oceans—and can fix them—can seem all too abstract, until you read Liz Cunningham’s powerful story. She takes you inside her heart as she witnesses a huge coral reef go from vibrantly and colorfully alive to bleached white death over just a few days, and as she feels the splendor of swimming with whales. Her message comes through loud and clear: through our individual actions, each doing what we can, we can nurture the seas we all depend upon, and where we’ve already damaged them, we can nurse them back to health.”
—Anthony Barnosky, author of Dodging Extinction

A beautifully-written memoir that shows us the ocean through Cunningham’s eyes, with grief for what is lost, awe for what remains, and glimpses of future redemption.”
—Roz Savage, National Geographic Adventurer of the Year and author of Rowing the Atlantic and Stop Drifting, Start Rowing

“A thrilling adventure tale, searing exposé, and moving memoir rolled into one. Ocean Country did something rare and precious: it burnished my hope for the future of our oceans.”
—Karen Garrison, former codirector of the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Ocean Program

“A stunning account of our endangered oceans—of vanishing coral reefs, collapsing fisheries, mindless exploitation and species loss. But that is only the beginning. Time and again, Cunningham discovers threads of hope in people committed to reversing these tragedies. Taken together, by the end, they unlock a hitherto unimagined and hopeful revelation. You can feel it in the author’s heart. You will feel it in your own.”
—Richard J. Borden, author of Ecology and Experience