Jean-Michel Cousteau: Ocean Adventures

Letter from Jean-Michel Cousteau
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"Take personal responsibility for protecting the ocean."

As an ocean explorer and filmmaker, I continue to be inspired by my father's philosophy embodied in his words: "People protect what they love," and now our Ocean Adventures team is expanding my family's vision into the 21st century. We find innovative ways to show people the natural beauty of our blue planet and to reinforce our obligation to protect what we love. By creating the Ocean Adventures television series and Web site, we have an opportunity to share our fundamental philosophy that:

"Everything is connected."


"Protect the ocean and you protect yourself."

Many of us know that survival on our blue planet depends on each one of us taking personal responsibility to do whatever it takes to protect the environment, each and every day. But we have forgotten that this is a mission of joy, adventure and exploration for all of us. Many people see land and water as separate and distinct, functioning as independent systems with little or no correlation. Our team is discovering firsthand that whether you live a long distance from the ocean or near the shore, your actions can influence the health of our global water system, which unites land and rivers with the sea.

Even on remote islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, 3,000 miles from any continent, my team and I have seen and experienced the impact we are having on the ocean. Unknowingly perhaps, we are using our waterways and the ocean as a garbage can, a universal sewer and a dumping ground. For a long time, we have been of the mentality "out of sight, out of mind." But what we encountered on remote atolls of the Pacific link our everyday actions with the most isolated islands on Earth.

Just as the whales and dolphins who swim through the sea do not recognize the borders from one country to the next, neither does the trash generated by millions of humans that now reaches the sea.

Pollution like this knows no nationality. We cannot blame one country or culture. The "citizenship" of this pollution belongs to all of us. It is our charge to find ways to protect every level of our life support system.

Ours is a critical mission and an adventure of global proportions -- to discover the state of our world ocean, to unite in its protection, and to celebrate its beauty and power.

The Ocean Adventures Web site complements and extends your PBS television viewing experience. Here you will learn more and discover how you can take action now to be a better environmental citizen. By protecting the ocean, we protect ourselves, and it will take all of us to do the job.

Thank you,
Jean-Michel Cousteau
Jean-Michel Cousteau