Alexandra Cousteau

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Alexandra Cousteau
Born (1976-03-21) 21 March 1976 (age 38)
Los Angeles County, California, USA
Residence Washington, D.C.
Nationality American, French
Alma mater Georgetown University
Known for Environmental conservation
Influences Jacques-Yves Cousteau
Philippe Cousteau
Notable awards 2007 United Nations Earth Trustee[1]
Spouse Fritz Neumeyer
Children 1

Alexandra Marguerite Clémentine Cousteau (born March 21, 1976) is the daughter of Philippe Cousteau and the granddaughter of world famous French explorer and filmmaker Jacques-Yves Cousteau.[2][3] An environmentalist, Cousteau advocates the importance of conservation, restoration and sustainable management of water resources for a healthy planet and productive societies.[2]

A member of the third generation of the Cousteau family to devote their lives to exploring and explaining the natural world, Cousteau first went on expedition with her father, Philippe Cousteau, when she was four months old, and learned to scuba dive with her grandfather, Jacques-Yves Cousteau, when she was seven.[1][4] She grew up traveling the globe, developed a passion for adventure and learned firsthand the value of conserving the natural world. Of her father and grandfather, Cousteau says, "The best example they gave me was the importance of living a life of consequence, value, and meaning. I honor their memories by creating a legacy of my own in speaking out for the preservation of our blue planet and all its waters."[2]

Born in California, Cousteau grew up in France and the United States. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science (International Relations) from Georgetown University in Washington DC. In 2000, Alexandra co-founded EarthEcho International with her brother Philippe Cousteau Jr. to further her family’s legacy in science, advocacy, and education.[5][6][7]

Cousteau was selected as a National Geographic Emerging Explorer for the Class of 2008.[8] She has spoken to audiences at the United Nations, UNESCO, Harvard University, Smithsonian Institution and Sea Rovers, among numerous other institutions, film festivals, and international events. Cousteau is also a published author whose articles and/or columns have appeared in the Huffington Post, Woodrow Wilson Center journal, Washington Life magazine, VSD (France), and Elle magazine (Spain) among others. She sits on the Board of Directors of EarthEcho International, the Global Water Challenge, 'Potomac Riverkeeper, in addition to being a member of the Science Advisory Board for George Mason University and the steering committee of the Pew sponsored Shark Alliance. She is also a PADI-certified Divemaster.

Cousteau is fluent in English, French and Spanish. She has served as a keynote speaker on environmental issues for the United Nations, National Geographic, Harvard University, the Smithsonian, the National Press Club, Bioneers, and the Telluride Film Festival. Alexandra is regularly featured on CNN International as a Principal Voice.

In 2008, Cousteau established the Blue Legacy organization to continue her family's work in protecting the Earth's oceans and freshwater sources.[2][4] Since its inception, Blue Legacy has made dozens of short films and explored crucial water issues around the globe. Blue Legacy's mission is "to tell the story of our water planet and shape society’s dialogue to include water as one of the defining issues of the 21st century by leading the conversation on the importance of 'watershed-first thinking' and inspiring mainstream audiences to fully participate in the conservation and restoration of the water in their local communities." [9]

During 2009, Blue Legacy’s first full year of operation, Expedition: Blue Planet embarked on a 100-day journey across 5 continents telling 8 critical water stories. Alexandra and Expedition: Blue Planet have filmed in India, Botswana, Cambodia, Australia, the Middle East, the Mississippi River and the Anacostia River in Southeast Washington, D.C.[10] The films from Expedition: Blue Planet were nominated at the 2009 Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival in the categories of Best Web Presence and Best Use of Web 2.0/ New Media.

Also in 2009, Alexandra joined the Discovery Channel line-up, co-hosting Blue August with her brother, Philippe Cousteau, Jr., and serving as a Chief Correspondent on Water Issues for Discovery's Planet Green. The same year Alexandra and her brother Philippe were honored with the Legacy Award at the South Carolina Aquarium's annual Environmental Stewardship Awards banquet.

In 2009, Cousteau was named a Revo Ambassador, partnering with Revo to become the face of the eyewear company.

On June 30 of 2010, Cousteau led her international Expedition Blue Planet team on a non-stop 138-day exploration of water issues across the US, Canada and Mexico.[11] Traveling 17,100 miles on a custom biodiesel production bus, the team collected stories on water management and use, water impacts and pollution, and documented inspiring projects led by communities committed to “taking back their watersheds.” The project--titled Expedition Blue Planet: North America--was presented by The Royal Bank of Canada and marked National Geographicʼs first ever “live” social media expedition. In addition to creating films that capture iconic North American water stories, the Expedition teamed up with local water organizations along the way to host community action days and collaborated with Grammy and Academy Award-winning singer Melissa Etheridge for five concerts focused on water. Content and community partnerships from Expedition Blue Planet: North America are serving as the platform for Blue Legacy projects throughout 2011 and 2012.

Also in 2010, she was involved with Live Earth 2010, founded by Kevin Wall. This global event took place on Earth Day 2010.

On May 4, 2011, she was awarded the 2011 Human Security Award at University of California, Irvine to recognize Cousteau's accomplishments and to raise awareness of the global water crisis.

In 2012, Cousteau introduced the concept "watershed-first thinking," which is a "whole-system approach" that "takes into account the numerous demands, threats and developments within a watershed... From resource management, to addressing pollution, to planning appropriately for the placement of cities, factories, and farms, watershed-first thinking focuses on ecosystem interconnectivity and sustainable decision-making." [12]

In February 2012, Cousteau joined the international ocean conservation group Oceana as a Senior Advisor to the organization. As Senior Advisor, Cousteau lends her environmental expertise and influence to help guide the organization’s global campaigns to protect and restore the oceans. “I admire Oceana’s effectiveness,” said Cousteau. “In order to protect our oceans we need action that produces tangible results and that’s what Oceana does. I’ve traveled the globe exploring our oceans and I’ve learned from the world’s best, so I know what’s at stake. I trust in Oceana’s ability to protect the oceans and I’m thrilled to do my part to help it keep winning.”

“Alexandra comes from a family of ocean heroes; it’s in her blood. I can’t think of a better person to join Oceana as we tackle our second decade of ocean conservation,” said Oceana CEO Andy Sharpless. “She’s been at this since her first ocean expedition when she was four months old, so she has a level of experience and credibility that is extremely unique. We’re immensely fortunate to have her on our team”.[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Blue Legacy (2008). "Alexandra, Social Environmental Advocate". Blue Legacy. Archived from the original on 13 October 2008. Retrieved October 31, 2008. [dead link]
  2. ^ a b c d CNN (October 28, 2008). "Future player: Alexandra Cousteau". CNN. Archived from the original on 13 October 2008. Retrieved October 31, 2008. 
  3. ^ David Zuckerman (2007). "A Life Aquatic". Plenty Magazine. Retrieved October 31, 2008. 
  4. ^ a b Bioneers (2008). "Bioneers Presenter: Alexandra Cousteau". Collective Heritage Institute. Archived from the original on 12 October 2008. Retrieved October 31, 2008. [dead link]
  5. ^ Ian Urbina (July 24, 2007). "Pressure Builds to Ban Plastic Bags in Stores". The New York Times. Retrieved October 31, 2008. 
  6. ^ Agence France-Presse (2007). "Ocean lures the heirs of Cousteau's legacy". Expatica. Retrieved October 31, 2008. 
  7. ^ Atty. Rita Linda V. Jimeno (2008). "A looming freshwater crisis". Manila Standard Today. Retrieved October 31, 2008. 
  8. ^ National Geographic (2008). "Alexandra Cousteau, Social Environmental Advocate". National Geographic. Archived from the original on 3 November 2008. Retrieved October 31, 2008. 
  9. ^ http://www.alexandracousteau.org/about-us
  10. ^ http://www.alexandracousteau.org/about-us/our-history
  11. ^ http://www.alexandracousteau.org/about-us/our-history
  12. ^ http://www.alexandracousteau.org/about-us
  13. ^ http://oceana.org/en/news-media/press-center/press-releases/alexandra-cousteau-joins-oceana

External links[edit]