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Jacques Cousteau 1910 - 1997

Water and air, the two essential fluids on which all life depends, have become global garbage cans

Jacques Cousteau

Jacques Cousteau was the most famous underwater explorer of the 20th century. He was awarded the Legion D’Honneur for his work with the French Resistance in World War II and, immediately after the war, he worked with the French Navy on mine clearing. However, his books, films and international long-running , hit television series The Undersea World

Of Jacques Cousteau made him a worldwide celebrity. He used this fame to draw attention to the disturbing discovery that he found during the making of the TV series – namely that human activity was destroying the world’s oceans.

Jacques Cousteau founded the Cousteau Society in 1973 in an effort to raise awareness of the eco-systems of the underwater world. At its peak The Cousteau Society could claim over 300,000 members around the Globe. Cousteau continued to make documentary feature films with an increasingly environmental theme that supported his ambition to protect ocean habitats. He died in 1997 and family disputes seemed set to tarnish his legacy. However, in 2000 his son, Jean Michel, dissociated himself from The Cousteau Society and formed The Ocean Futures Society.

The Society’s mission is explore the global ocean and inspire and educate people throughout the world to act responsibly for its protection, whilst documenting the critical connection between humanity and nature. It seeks to celebrate the ocean’s vital importance to all life on our planet. It is difficult to think of a more fitting tribute to Jacques Cousteau, a true pioneering environmental hero, or of a message that chimes so well with aims of On Wings of Waste.