Helvarg is a journalist and environmental activist. He is the founder and president of the marine conservation lobbying organization Blue Frontier Campaign.
He is the author of: The Golden Shore - California's Love Affair with the Sea, Saved by the Sea – A Love Story with Fish, Rescue Warriors - The U.S. Coast Guard, America's Forgotten Heroes, 50 Ways To Save the Ocean, The War against the Greens, Blue Frontier—Dispatches from America's Ocean Wilderness, The Ocean and Coastal Conservation Guide.
He wrote stories for the Reader off and on from the late 1970s through 2000.
Stories Helvarg wrote for the Reader:
- We walk past 5155 Muir, which is about to be torn down. The house still has one of the 9 millimeter bullet holes from a January 6,1972, attack by the right-wing Secret Army Organization. (December 7, 2000)
- Last month, on December 14, the San Diego-based, nuclear-powered submarine USS Guitarro lay in deep water near San Clemente Island, northwest of here. A stainless-steel capsule, resembling a giant twenty-two-foot cigar humidor, was loaded into one of its torpedo tubes. Captain Scott van Hoften gave the order to fire. (January 7, 1982)
- We’re sitting at the bar rail in the officers’ club at Twentynine Palms. It’s crowded with desert-tanned Marines in camouflage utilities and combat boots. Johnny Paycheck’s “Take This Job and Shove It’’ is playing. (May 29, 1980)
- "There’s still some. People I went to school with in Coronado before the war, I see them at work; they still don’t speak to me. It’s like the fact that we were evacuated proved we were guilty." (October 20, 1977)
- She stops at the grave of Yellow Sky, something of a legend among the Indians of Barona. He used to walk the desert between Yuma and San Diego wearing only a breach cloth, trading firewood for a meal. (April 21, 1977)
- On July 25, 1975, while the movie of Peter BenchJey’s Jaws was playing to a full house in Mission Valley, Brian Hawthorne, owner of the 60-fool San Diego swordfish boat Heather B., was busy harpooning his own Jaws, a 12'6" Great White off Catalina Island, 20 miles northwest of San Diego County. (Jan. 20, 1977)