In front of a crowd of more than 500 people of all ages, Jean-Michel Cousteau, son of famous explorer Jacques Cousteau, shared an enlightening and engaging presentation on the importance of preserving our world’s oceans and protecting the marine animals that live in them.
2009 - 2010 Season
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For more than four decades, explorer, environmentalist, educator, and film producer Jean-Michel Cousteau has used his vast experience to communicate to people of all nations and generations his love and concern for our water planet.
Since first being “thrown overboard” by his father at the age of seven with newly invented Scuba gear on his back, Cousteau has been exploring the ocean realm. The son of ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau, Cousteau spent much of his life with his family exploring the world’s oceans aboard Calypso and Alcyone. After his mother’s death in 1990, and his father’s death in 1997, Cousteau founded Ocean Futures Society in 1999 to carry on this pioneering work.
A response to his father’s call to “carry forward the flame of his faith,” Cousteau’s Ocean Futures Society, a non-profit marine conservation and education organization, serves as a “Voice for the Ocean” by fostering a conservation ethic, conducting research, and developing marine education programs. Cousteau serves as an impassioned spokesman and diplomat for the environment, reaching out to the public through a variety of media. He has produced over 70 films, and been awarded the Emmy, the Peabody Award, the 7 d’Or – the French equivalent of the Emmy, and the Cable ACE Award.
In addition to his awards for film, his book Jean-Michel Cousteau’s America’s Underwater Treasures, has received two prestigious awards in the independent publishing world, the 2008 Benjamin Franklin Bill Fisher Award for Best First Book (Non-Fiction) and the 2008 IPPY Gold Medal Award for best book in the environment/ecology/nature category.
Today, as president of Ocean Futures Society, Cousteau travels the globe, meeting with world leaders and policymakers, both at the grassroots level and the highest echelons of government and business, educating young people, documenting stories of change and hope, and lending his reputation and support to help energize alliances for positive change.
Through Ocean Futures Society, Cousteau continues to produce environmentally oriented programs and his PBS television specials, Jean-Michel Cousteau: Ocean Adventures, public service announcements, multimedia programs for schools, Web-based marine content, books, articles for magazines and newspaper columns, and public lectures, reaching millions of people all over the world.
As a result of Cousteau’s input and influence, President George W. Bush established the largest marine sanctuary ever, creating an important safety net for the oceans around Hawaii.
In February 2002, Cousteau became the first person to represent the environment in the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games. Cousteau joined seven other highly esteemed individuals who represented the five continents symbolized in the Olympic Rings and the three tenets of the Olympics, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu (Africa), John Glenn (The Americas), Kazuyoshi Funaki (Asia), Lech Walesa (Europe), Cathy Freeman (Oceania), Jean-Claude Killy (Sport), Steven Spielberg (Culture), and Jean-Michel Cousteau (Environment). Cousteau was also appointed to the board of directors of the Athens Environmental Foundation for the Athens 2004 Olympic Games.