The Cousteau Society
The Cousteau Society is a membership-supported, not-for-profit organization dedicated to the protection and improvement of the quality of life for present and future generations.
|History of the Society
Founded in 1973 by Captain Jacques-Yves Cousteau, the Society has more than 150,000 members worldwide. Under the leadership of President Francine Cousteau, the Society continues the unique explorations and observations of ecosystems throughout the world that have helped millions of people understand and appreciate the fragility of life on our Water Planet. Half a century of protecting water systems has expanded to embrace a wide variety of programs to encourage communities to achieve sustainable harmony with Nature: Waters of Peace, the Cousteau Label, Coastal Workers and more. Click here to see the 1999 Retrospective of activities.
More than forty books and 120 television films to date have documented farflung habitats: Antarctica, Haiti, Cuba, the Marquesas Islands and the Tuamotu Archipelago, New Zealand, Australia, Papua New Guinea, Thailand, the Andaman Islands, Borneo, Indonesia, Madagascar, South Africa, Lake Baikal and the Amazon, Mekong, Danube and Yellow rivers among others. Recent expeditions include the Caspian Sea and the St. Lawrence River of Canada.
Beginning with the co-invention of the Aqualung, Cousteau teams have led in the development of underwater technology with systems ranging from underwater habitats to submarines and imaging systems. Cousteau engineering teams developed the windship, Alcyone, and its unique wind-propulsion system of Turbosail(TM) cylinders. Through cooperation with independent scientists, expedition research ranges from measuring the contribution of nutrients in rivers to the global ocean system, to developing methods to measure primary productivity in the sea, to using new resource management approaches to achieve environmentally sound, sustainable social progress.
The Society speaks in testimony and counsel to governing bodies and leaders on issues of global concern, such as the protection of whales, fisheries, coral reefs and other habitats. In 1990, the Society launched a petition drive to protect Antarctica, the last vast pristine expanse on Earth, as a natural reserve dedicated to peace and science; it was at the forefront of efforts that culminated in the international protocol which guarantees the prohibition of mineral activities for at least fifty years and implements a number of environmental protection measures.
Working with the Society's Council of Advisors, Captain Cousteau defined a new approach to decision-making, named Ecotechnie, that integrates the environment with technology, and natural and social sciences. UNESCO is establishing Ecotechnie programs at universities around the world, most recently in Bahrain. In keeping with its commitment to future generations, the Society drew up a Bill of Rights for Future Generations. A global petition campaign was launched in May 1991, and generated millions of signatures. A revised and expanded version has been approved by the Executive Committee of UNESCO for submission to the General Assembly.
The Society believes that only an informed and alerted public can make the decisions necessary to protect and manage the world's natural resources. Education efforts directed toward members, classrooms and the general population include membership publications Calypso Log and Dolphin Log, individual information packets on a variety of environmental subjects, statements on developing issues, participation in special events and the innovative Dolphin Log in the Classroom program. The Cousteau Society is also working to expand its presence on the Internet to make its 25 years of informative material more readily available to a global audience. For more information, call 1-800-441-4395 or e-mail email@example.com
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