Blue Frontier Campaign




Tax ID:


Tax-Exempt Status:


Budget (2016):

Revenue: $266,533
Expenses: $280,604
Assets: $99,811




David Herlag

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Blue Frontier Campaign is an environmentalist group that advocates for more restrictions on commercial activity in oceanic waters comprising the United States’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and for a single federal agency to implement a unitary National Ocean Policy that will supersede local, state, and tribal governments and interests. The group organizes activist for rallies in major cities and policy meetings called “Blue Vision Summits” to lobby lawmakers.

The group’s overall policy prescriptions can vary from relatively non-partisan, such as stopping pollution from old oil infrastructure, to radical environmentalism, such as ending all commercial fishing and all offshore drilling. Several members of the group’s advisory board hold extremist positions even for the environmentalist movement such as Paul Ehrlich who advocates for depopulation of the earth; John Passacantando, formerly of Greenpeace, and outspoken anti-vaccination activist and environmentalist Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

Blue Frontier has opposed the use of zero carbon nuclear energy. 1


David Helvarg, a former journalist, founded Blue Frontier Campaign in 2003. The group advocates for increased regulations and laws restricting commerce in US’s territorial waters and Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) as a means to stop possible pollution and ecological changes. The organization advocates to policymakers in government agencies, specifically the U.S. Coast Guard and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for the creation of a singular US federal agency to implement a unitary National Ocean Policy. 2


Citizens for a Sustainable Point Molate

Blue Frontier Campaign stopped a Guidiville Band of Pomo Indians, 122 members of the Mendocino tribe, from converting the dock of a former U.S. Navy refueling depot into an offshore pirate ship-themed casino. 3

The tribe bought the depot in 1995 for $1 near the working-class city of Richmond, north of San Francisco. The Mendocino tribe signed a contract with the city of Richmond in 2004 and paid a nonrefundable $16.6 million down payment on the $50 million purchase price for property surrounding the depot. Prodding from Blue Frontier Campaign and other environmentalist groups caused the city of Richmond to spend $30 million on multiple environmental impact surveys and introduced a 2010 local referendum on the project. Blue Frontier Campaign fought against the casino project during the referendum, which ended the Mendocino tribe’s project. 4

National Ocean Policy (NOP)

Blue Frontier Campaign’s National Ocean Policy initiative seeks to supposedly reduce red tape by subverting the authority of local, state, and tribal bodies to decide their own maritime economic and conservation policies by seeking the creation of a single federal agency that will oversee all US maritime and ocean policy, superseding all local concerns within the US’s 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). 5

In 2009, Blue Frontier Campaign conveyed activists to meetings at the White House Council on Environmental Quality to support the federal government creating a more robust and singular agency to implement a maritime policy that will supersede solutions at the local, state and regional levels. Blue Frontier Campaign singles out the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as the progenitor of this theoretical agency to implement a unitary National Ocean Policy (NOP) sought by the Blue Frontier Campaign. 6

The Peter Benchley Ocean Awards

Named after the author of Jaws, Peter Benchley, the award is used to reward those individuals that agree with Blue Frontier Campaign’s policy views. In 2009 Blue Frontier Campaign awarded the “Peter Benchley Ocean Awards for Policy” to both NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco and U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Thad Allen. 7

50 Ways to Save the Ocean

David Helvarg wrote the children’s book 50 Ways to Save the Ocean. It is marketed to teachers to push the environmentalist agenda advocated by Blue Frontier Campaign. 8

Opposition to Nuclear Energy

Blue Frontier was one of more than 600 co-signing organizations on a January 2019 open letter to Congress titled “Legislation to Address the Urgent Threat of Climate Change.” The signatories declared their support for new laws to bring about “100 percent decarbonization” of the transportation sector but denounced nuclear power as an example of “dirty energy” that should not be included in any legislation promoting the use of so-called “renewable energy.” 9

Nuclear power plants produce no carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gas emissions, and as of 2021 accounted for 19 percent of American electricity production—the largest source of zero carbon electricity in the United States. 10 An October 2018 proposal from The Nature Conservancy noted that zero-carbon nuclear plants produced 7.8 percent of total world energy output and recommended reducing carbon emissions by increasing nuclear capacity to 33 percent of total world energy output. 11

Minor Projects

  • The Blue Movement Directory: a list of 1,400 ocean centric groups in a directory on the Blue Frontier Campaign’s website12
  • Writers for the Sea: An attempt to elicit non-scientist writers to compile non-scientific articles about the oceans to advocate for the group’s agenda13
  • The Sea Party: An activist faction created to oppose offshore drilling and advocate the group’s environmentalist agenda during the 2016 election cycle. 14
  • Ocean Explorers: fundraises for two of Blue Frontier Campaign’s members, Roz Savage and Margo Pellegrino, to paddle great distances in an attempt to make media grabbing headlines. 15

March for the Ocean

On June 9th, 2018, Blue Frontier Campaign organized a march in Washington D.C. and several other cities that contained small groups of activists carrying signs to push for more regulations and laws restricting commerce in American territorial waters and EEZ. 16

Blue Vision Summit

Blue Frontier Campaign plans meetings in Washington, D.C. or other major cities and brings activists together to push for more regulations or laws concerning oceans. The attendees for these events consist mainly of career environmental activists, a few high school students, some college students, and representatives of the corporate sponsors or members of environmentalist organizations. 17



Executive director of Blue Frontier Campaign David Helvarg was a journalist and worked for many left-of-center news outlets such as Sierra, the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Parade. He has appeared in documentaries on PBS and the Discovery Channel. He has also written for numerous magazines, including Smithsonian, National Geographic, and Popular Science. He has authored six books with ocean-centric environmentalist themes. 18

Board Members

Notable Board Members include Ralph Nader, Paul Ehrlich, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., and John Passacantando, all controversial environmentalists. Nader has invited David Helvarg on his radio show to discuss environmental policy and advocate for the group’s anti-corporate message against commercial fishing, offshore drilling, and other forms of commerce in the US territorial waters. 1920


  1. “Group letter to Congress urging Green New Deal passage.” Earthworks. January 10, 2019. Accessed July 27, 2023.
  2. “About Us – The Blue Frontier Campaign (BFC).” Blue Frontier Campaign. Accessed July 15, 2019.
  3. “Citizens for a Sustainable Point Molate.” Blue Frontier Campaign. Accessed July 15, 2019.
  4. Jones, Carolyn. “Planned Richmond Casino at Point Molate in Danger.” SFGate. February 09, 2012. Accessed July 12, 2019.
  5. “National Ocean Policy.” Blue Frontier Campaign. Accessed July 15, 2019.
  6. “Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force Public Meetings.” Blue Frontier Campaign. Accessed July 15, 2019.
  7. “The Peter Benchley Ocean Awards.” Blue Frontier Campaign. Accessed July 15, 2019.
  8. “50 Ways to Save The Ocean.” Blue Frontier Campaign. Accessed July 22, 2019.
  9. “Group letter to Congress urging Green New Deal passage.” Earthworks. January 10, 2019. Accessed July 27, 2023.
  10. “Nuclear explained.” U.S. Energy Information Administration. Accessed July 25, 2023.
  11. “The Science of Sustainability.” The Nature Conservancy. October 13, 2018. Accessed July 25, 2023.
  12. “The Blue Movement Directory.” Blue Frontier Campaign. Accessed August 14, 2019.
  13. “Writers for the Sea.” Blue Frontier Campaign. Accessed August 14, 2019.
  14. “Sea Party Coalition.” Blue Frontier Campaign. Accessed July 15, 2019.
  15. “Ocean Explorers.” Blue Frontier Campaign. Accessed July 15, 2019.
  16. “March for the Ocean – a Project of Blue Frontier Campaign.” Blue Frontier Campaign. Accessed July 15, 2019.
  17. “Blue Vision Summit.” Blue Frontier Campaign. Accessed July 15, 2019.
  18. “Meet Our Team at Blue Frontier Campaign.” Blue Frontier Campaign. Accessed July 22, 2019.
  19. By Skro35, Published. “Skro35.” – Ralph Nader Radio Hour. November 22, 2015. Accessed July 22, 2019.
  20. “Paul R. Ehrlich.” Paul R. Ehrlich | Center for Conservation Biology. Accessed July 22, 2019.

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Paul Ehrlich
    Advisory Board Member
  2. Ralph Nader
    Advisory Board Member
  3. Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
    Advisory Board Member

Supported Movements

  1. Green New Deal (GND)
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: March 1, 2003

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2016 Dec Form 990 $266,533 $280,604 $99,811 $16,628 N $311,243 $8,515 $39 $81,007
    2015 Dec Form 990 $267,092 $257,277 $101,836 $4,582 N $291,988 $35,278 $58 $83,004 PDF
    2014 Dec Form 990 $202,502 $178,896 $89,722 $2,283 N $246,835 $1,800 $119 $72,608 PDF
    2013 Dec Form 990 $255,753 $251,958 $86,062 $22,229 N $282,565 $16,400 $164 $78,104 PDF
    2012 Dec Form 990EZ $127,883 $166,069 $63,091 $6,215 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2011 Dec Form 990 $358,586 $307,323 $101,167 $6,105 N $368,154 $23,485 $235 $63,633 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Blue Frontier Campaign

    PO BOX 19405
    WASHINGTON, DC 20036-9405