Jean-Michel Cousteau is an explorer, environmentalist, educator and film producer. He is a dedicated advocate for the protection of the water planet. Jean-Michel is a voice for the ocean, he inspires and educates audiences worldwide about the need to act responsibly and preserve the fragile underwater ecosystems that are so intricately tied to all life on earth.
The son of ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau, Jean Michel spent much of his life with his family exploring the world’s oceans aboard Calypso and Alcyone. Honoring his heritage, Jean-Michel founded Ocean Futures Society in 1999 to carry on this pioneering work.
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, documenting stories of change and hope, and lending his reputation and support to energize alliances for positive change.
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 Futures Society’s spokesman, Jean-Michel serves as an impassioned diplomat for the environment, reaching out to the public through a variety of media and educational programs.
Jean-Michel has a lifetime of achievements and exemplary public service in ocean conservation through education, awareness, and diplomacy. In 1996, Jean-Michel was awarded the SeaKeepers Award from Showboats International, and the John M. Olguin Marine Environment Award from the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium. In 1998 he was presented with the Environmental Hero Award by Vice President Gore at the White House National Oceans Conference. In 2003, he was inducted into the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame and became a Trustee of the British Virgin Islands National Parks as well as being the first recipient of the Ocean Hero Award from Oceana. He has also received the Poseidon/Lifetime Achievement Award from Reef Check and been elected to the Global Green Board of Directors. And in May 2016 was honoured with the highest French civilian order of distinction, the Chevalier de la Légion D’Honneur, Knight of the Legion of Honor from the President of France, François Hollande.
Jean-Michel Cousteau has produced over 80 films, received the Emmy, the Peabody Award, the Sept 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.
In 2015, Jean-Michel released his first IMAX film, “Secret Ocean 3D”. And today ‘Secret Ocean 3D’ continues to be screened in over fifty theatres around the world. Jean-Michel newest feature film, “Wonders of the Sea,” uncovers the complexities of our interconnected world of life in the oceans and shows us how we are all asked to safeguard the future of our water planet. Narrated by Arnold Schwarzenegger and starring Jean-Michel, his two adult children, Céline and Fabien and Jean-Michel’s team; this adventure takes viewers to beautiful locations around the world, including Fiji, California, Sea of Cortez, Bahamas and the Mediterranean Sea.
Jean-Michel also has a long history of innovative design in the field of architecture and the ocean. Acting on a childhood dream to build cities under the sea, he pursued a degree in architecture from the Paris School of Architecture and remains a member of the Ordre National des Architectes. Artificial floating islands, schools, and an advanced marine studies centre in Marseilles, France, are among his projects. In 1969, he led the transformation of a 100,000 square foot section of the Queen Mary into the Living Sea Museum in Long Beach, California. He also directed the design and development of the Parc Oceanique Cousteau in Paris, an innovative public attraction to teach visitors about the ocean without displaying any captive animals.
More recently, Jean-Michel has been involved with the Jean-Michel Cousteau Fiji Islands Resort, an environmentally and culturally oriented family resort, conceived as a model to prove to the business community the economic benefits of environmental concern and design. In order to expand the impact of ecological tourism, he created L’Aventure Jean-Michel Cousteau, a flagship dive operation at the resort in Fiji. He is currently forming an action partnership to expand this ecologically responsible model to other sites, including Petit St. Vincent in St Vincent and the Grenadines.
Thank you to © Tom Ordway for the photograph
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