In Casting Seaward, author, naturalist, and educator Steve Ramirez expands beyond the geographical scope of his first two books by traveling thousands of miles by plane, motor vehicle, boat, and foot pursuing the native gamefish of North America’s salt and brackish water habitats. This journey includes following anadromous fish like salmon from the ocean’s depth to the shallowest tributaries of Alaskan rivers, and following rivers and streams from their freshwater sources to their brackish water deltas.
In the course of this journey, Ramirez explores and fishes portions of the entire American coastline from the Northern Atlantic coast to the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico, and up the Pacific coast from California to Alaska. The entirety of this sojourn was written while traveling through the COVID-19 pandemic, and it touches on the lessons that challenges such as global pandemics, global ecological and sociological disruption, and global opportunities for positive learning and change can teach us about nature and human nature. Most of all, Casting Seaward is a celebration of the bounty and beauty of our water-covered planet, and a recognition of its increasingly rarefied qualities.
Each story is told in part through the eyes of the people who have lived alongside, and come to love, these waters and fish. Woven throughout these adventures are the stories of the people he meets and befriends while pursuing a mutual love of nature and the best of human nature, as the first criterion for finding common ground.
Casting Seaward is an enthralling exploration, an insightful warning and call to action, and an exceedingly hopeful story in an all-too-often seemingly hopeless time. It is a story of fishing and friendship. It is a story of humanity’s impact on nature, and nature’s impact on humanity. It is our story, in this pivotal moment in the history of humanity and the living blue planet we call home.