Wise and Wonderful: Jean-Michel Cousteau

Wise and Wonderful: Jean-Michel Cousteau

© Tom Ordway

Manfish at 76

Eye to eye with an enormous green sea turtle, a flash of blue with flowing gray hair tucked under his mask, moves with the rhythm of the gentle current.  As the hawksbill turtle stops to crunch a sponge on a delicate coral, his swimming partner stops to observe.  And then, they both float effortlessly through the calm turquoise water.  As he bids “adieu” to his flippered friend and heads towards the glistening sun, Jean Michel Cousteau – ocean explorer, environmentalist, film maker, grandfather and son of the original ocean explorer, Jacques Cousteau, makes his way to the surface and on to the deck of his expedition vessel.

Wise Wonderful_Jean Michel Cousteau

For four decades, Jean-Michel (age 76) has been exploring and sharing  the undersea universe that his father introduced to the world.  As a child, he traveled the oceans and waterways with his family aboard the Calypso and the Alcyone.  Today, he travels with his own team from his non-profit organization, Ocean Futures Society.

Many of the people who populate his team actually worked with his father and share the passion born of decades of documenting stories about the bond between people and the sea.  Today, in the equipment locker, you may bump into Don Santee (age 66) Director of Expeditions, who manages everything from diving excursions to months long expeditions, and who is responsible for training and safety of the future generation of expedition partners for Ocean Futures.  Or, you may run into Dr. Richard Murphy “Murph” (age 72), Director of Science and Education, as he returns from his daily surf session.  He has served as chief scientist, photographer, writer and the creator of many of the children’s educational programs used by Ocean Futures on a daily basis.   By Jean-Michel’s side under water or on land, Holly Lohuis is a Marine Biologist who has worked with Ocean Futures since its inception.  These men and women, along with a dedicated team of oceanographers, computer experts, photographers, film-makers and marine biologists of all ages, make Ocean Futures their base, on land or at sea.  The passion to share the diversity of our undersea world and to pass the torch on how to protect it, has been the key to keeping the team together for generations.

Founded in 1999, the mission of Ocean Futures is to explore our global ocean, inspiring and educating people throughout the world to act responsibly for its protection, documenting the critical connection between humanity and nature, and celebrating the ocean’s vital importance to the survival of all life on our planet.  As Jean-Michel often says,” Protect the ocean and you protect yourself.”  There are many ways to join Cousteau on his lifelong journey to protect our ocean planet. Find out how by visiting Ocean Futures Society’s website.

*This blog was first published here: Sunshine Retirement Living

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