Jean-Michel Cousteau

Carrie Vonderhaar/Ocean Futures Society    

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Hear an interview with Cousteau and see he and his son Fabien and daughter Celine in action in our exclusive online gallery.

Podcast: Listen to an interview with Jean-Michel Cousteau Listen to Podcast version

The new patriarch of the first family of the sea, Jean-Michel, 68-year-old son of the legendary Jacques Cousteau, is founder and president of the Ocean Futures Society, a nonprofit dedicated to ocean conservation and education. And he's making waves. Last year, an episode of his PBS series Jean-Michel Cousteau: Ocean Adventures influenced President Bush to create the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument, the largest protected marine area on earth. Next, he's off to the Amazon to document the region's global importance.

"Since my father pushed me overboard with a tank on my back at the age of seven, I've been completely engulfed in the aquatic environment. The quality of our lives is directly linked to the quality of water: no water, no life. We've been very lucky because nature has been doing a fabulous job of cleaning itself. But there's a point when nature says, 'Too much is too much.' We reached that point quite some time ago. Now we need a major wake-up call—information, solutions need to be shared with the public. Then we communicate with decision makers, both in the political system and in industry. The message remains the same: Protect the ocean and you protect yourself."

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