“protect the Ocean and you protect yourself” ~ Jean-Michel Costeau
The name “Cousteau” has become synonymous with the ocean, as Jacques Yves Cousteau’s legacy has been carried on by his family. His son, Jean-Michel Cousteau, believes that the key to creating a more sustainable world is to educate people transforming them into ocean change-makers, focusing on the younger generations, the ones who will actually inherit the planet. Jean-Michel says: “[Kids] are the best ocean ambassadors and the best communicators. They go home and teach their parents. And that’s what makes a big difference.”
Alongside his father, Jean-Michel has explored the world’s oceans aboard Calypso and Alcyone for much of his life. Honoring his heritage, Jean-Michel founded Ocean Futures Society in 1999 to carry on this pioneering work to help save the ocean. Ocean Futures Society, a non-profit marine conservation and education organization, serves as a “Voice for the Ocean” by communicating in all media the critical bond between people and the sea and the importance of wise environmental policy. As Ocean Future’s spokesman, Jean-Michel serves as an impassioned diplomat for the environment, reaching out to the public through a variety of media.
Dive into the new 3-D underwater film “Ocean Secrets”
Part of Jean-Michel’s latest efforts include the production of his 3-D underwater film “Ocean Secrets,” narrated by Dr. Sylvia Earle. Jean-Michel hopes that witnessing the awe-inspiring beauty of the ocean up close will move people to transition from spectators into ocean activists. Jean-Michel is an unparalleled Ocean filmmaker having produced over 80 films, received the Emmy, the Peabody Award, the 7 d’Or, and the Cable Ace Award. In 1989, he became a syndicated columnist for the Los Angeles Times where his articles appeared in over sixty newspapers worldwide. Reaching millions of people globally through Ocean Futures Society, Jean-Michel continues to produce environmentally oriented adventure programs and television specials, public service announcements, multi-media programs for schools, web-based marine content, books, articles for magazines, newspaper columns, and public lectures.
As Chairman of the Board and President of Ocean Futures Society, Jean-Michel travels the world, meeting with leaders and policymakers at the grassroots level and at the highest echelons of government and business. He is dedicated to educating young people to the ocean issues we face today, documenting stories of change and hope, and lending his reputation and support to spread the message of making sustainable choices, including becoming a sustainable diver and to observe sustainable business practices.
“There is one system, which is the water system, there are no borders”
What needs to be done, according to Jean-Michel, to help our planet? First of all, Jean-Michel believes in cooperation. “It’s a new world. It’s a fascinating world …The concept of countries and borders is an absurdity. There is one system, which is the water system, there [are] no borders […]” This is just one of the issues he highlights. Jean-Michel is adamant about reminding us just how connected humanity and all life on Earth is to the oceans. “there are more and more people that are concerned and want to take care of our life support system, our ocean. We have one water system. The next time you drink a glass of water, you’re drinking the ocean. We need to take care of it. We all depend on it.”
To learn more about Jean-Michel’s travels with his father and the environmental issues he has observed on his many trips around our blue planet, join Jean-Michel for his entire interview at Blue Ocean Summit 2015: Jean-Michel Cousteau (this feature will be available shortly to Members) and remember to visit Ocean Futures. To support the Blue Ocean community and to review and order any of Jean-Michel’s books or films go to the store (Also available shortly).
Another speaker whose mission is to inspire conservation is John Racanelli who serves as CEO of the US National Aquarium in Baltimore, Maryland. John strives to drive conservation action worldwide, ensure the success of one of the nation’s leading aquarium enterprises, and fundamentally change the way the world views the ocean and aquatic systems. Join John for his article “A New Blue Print for the Future of Aquariums” at Ocean Profiles: John Racanelli
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