Writer, Musician and Teacher Joel Harper had an epiphany one day while riding home on his bicycle and saw the effects of pollution in the storm drains around his community. He realized that he needed to do something meaningful with his talents to help change the way people interacted with their environment. So, in 2006, he wrote his popular’s children’s book, “All the Way to the Ocean.” Since then, more than 30,000 copies of the book have been distributed around the world via schools, organizations, caring communities and parents.
The award-winning book features pint-sized heroes, Isaac and James, as well as “Ocean’s” dozens of endangered undersea creatures, as they take on one of the world’s most critical problems – coastal pollution. It begins when James has thrown a wrapper and plastic bottle in the gutter and doesn’t believe that it will go all the way to the ocean. Isaac warns James about the consequences of his littering. A concerned crane from the coast line and James’ Mother educate the children about the harmful effects of storm drain pollution.
“All the Way to the Ocean” was honored with a green earth book award, which is bestowed to books that inspire a child to grow a deeper appreciation, respect and responsibility for his or her natural environment. Started in 2005, the award focuses on books that best raise awareness of the beauty of our natural world and the responsibility that we have to protect it.
Additionally, a portion of the proceeds of the book is donated towards the efforts of the Surfrider Foundation.
Now, the book’s core message that caring for our oceans and environment must become a way of life, is reaching other media. Joel, who is two-time Grammy winner Ben Harper’s younger brother, is currently working with his partners at Mediatavern to share his story in an even more powerful way, with a movie in the works and scheduled for release in 2012. Starring Marcia Cross, Laird Hamilton, Amy Smart and Xavier Rudd and directed by Pete Michels and Douglas Rowell, we can soon see the book come to life on screen.