The actor and environmental activist talks about the ocean, the best beaches, and the beauty of breaching whales
His first visits to the beach:
When I was growing up in Arizona, we’d go to SouthernCalifornia each summer and rent a cottage in Laguna Beach or SanClemente. The beach was a dream come true for me.
Becoming an ocean advocate:
During my Cheers days, I started making money. And I realized money isa responsibility. What do you do with it? You can get thingsdone.
The environmental group Oceana:
I’m on the board. We have 90 people working full time onocean issues, with offices around the globe. The world’s fisheriesare on the brink of collapse. One-third of the fish we catch arejust thrown overboard and lost. Bottom trawling destroys coralreefs. We’re attacking those problems.
My wife Mary Steenburgen and I live at Malibu. It’s a greatbeach for taking long walks. If you’re into surfing, there are twoor three good spots by Malibu Pier.
On having fun in the waves:
I do a little kayaking. I love to bodysurf. When it comes toactual surfing, I’m still an Arizona kid ― slightlyscared.
His most memorable ocean encounter:
We went whale-watching near Juneau and saw a pod of humpbacksdo this thing called bubble feeding. One whale swims in circles tomake a curtain of bubbles that panic the fish. Six other whalesdive down deep to get them. Then the whales all rise up and breachthrough the ring of bubbles.
The best things people can do to protect the sea:
Find a group to work with. There’s Oceana, the SurfriderFoundation, Heal the Bay here in L.A., lots of local groups. Don’tget discouraged. But do get active.
Emmy-winning actor Ted Danson lives in Malibu, CA. He plays Dr.Bill Hoffman in ABC’s Help Me Help You. For information on Oceana, visit www.oceana.org.