Turtle Island Restoration Network celebrates the life of Dr. Wallace J. Nichols


Wallace J Nichols, a great personal friend, a friend of TIRN, a former TIRN Board member and current TIRN scientific advisor passed away

Photo credit: TIRN’s 20-year “Big Splash” Celebration, 2009

California Coast, July 3, 2024 — It is with great sadness I report the death of Wallace “J” Nichols, former TIRN Board member and scientific advisor.  J was also a philosopher, sea turtle scientist, environmental activist, and best-selling author.

To me, J was much more than a colleague.  He was an amazing and inspiring friend.  

His book, making it onto the New York Times Best Seller List, “BLUE MIND, The Surprising Science That Shows How Being Near, In On or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected and Better at What You Do” mined the depths of our human brains and brought new understanding of our innate love and attachment to oceans, rivers and creeks.

The Washington Post described BLUE MIND as “a fascinating study of the emotional, behavioral, psychological and physical connections that keep humans so enchanted with water.”

J did not just write a book, he turned it into the Blue Mind movement.  

As an “entrepreneurial activist,” he brought BLUE MIND’s message of love to millions of people around the world through annual summits, hundreds of presentations around the world, through film, TV and radio interviews, podcasts, and more than 700 book club readings.

This Blue Mind movement only touches the surface of who J was and what he accomplished and the love and spirit he brought to everything he did.  He co-founded organizations to protect endangered sea turtles from commercial exploitation, to battle plastic pollution and mentored and inspired scores of students beginning their careers in science.

J was also a loving husband and father to two amazing children. 

His accolades are many, as reported on his website, https://www.wallacejnichols.org , where you can learn more about J including:  He was  called a “Keeper of the Sea” by GQ Magazine, “a visionary” by Outside Magazine, a “water warrior” by AQUATICS International, a “friend of the sea” by Experience Life Magazine, and “the godfather of water” by Irish Life Health and Santa Cruz Waves Magazine :  He “ is an innovative, silo-busting, entrepreneurial scientist, movement maker, renown marine biologist, voracious Earth and idea explorer, wild water advocate, bestselling author, sought after lecturer, and fun-loving Dad. He also likes turtles (a lot).

The world today is a better place because of J.  And I will miss him dearly.

Todd Steiner

Founder, Turtle Island Restoration Network

About Turtle Island Restoration Network (TIRN) 

For 30 years, Turtle Island Restoration Network (TIRN) has been a leading advocate for the world’s oceans and marine wildlife. Join Us in Fighting for a Blue-Green Planet!