Jean-Michel Cousteau, founder of Ocean Futures Society and a world-renowned advocate for ocean protection, has received the first ever “Ocean Hero” Award from Oceana for “defending the world ocean” and “inspiring people around the globe.”
“The extraordinary spirit of the Cousteau family is alive and well in the work of Jean-Michel,” said Oceana CEO Andrew Sharpless. “Jean-Michel has inherited the mantle of ocean explorer and caretaker of the seas from his father, and he has swum with it. His work has inspired a love of the seas in people all over the world, and I can’t think of a more deserving recipient of our first ever Ocean Hero Award.“The Oceana “Ocean Hero” Award will be presented annually to an individual who has displayed a profound dedication and effort in defending our oceans. It recognises those who have made steadfast commitments, in some cases over the course of a lifetime, to advocating for and protecting the world’s oceans. Cousteau received the award at a prestigious ceremony in Los Angeles.Oceana is a non-profit, international advocacy organisation dedicated to protecting and restoring the world’s ocean. Oceana’s policy, science, law and public education campaigns work to prevent the collapse of marine life caused by destructive industrial fishing and pollution. The organisation has members in more than 150 countries and territories. It recently merged with The American Oceans Campaign, founded by actor and ocean proponent Ted Danson.“I am deeply grateful to Oceana for honoring me with their first ‘Ocean Hero’ Award,” Cousteau said. “I receive it as a reflection of all the efforts we have made over four decades to educate the public globally to our mission -‘Protect the ocean, and you protect yourself.“Cousteau said he will share the award with “all the real, everyday heroes who work tirelessly to save the ocean and all its inhabitants for generations to come.”“There are thousands of people, particularly young people, who have awakened to the cause of protecting this water planet,” he said. “They are making the ocean’s future a part of their lives by working to safeguard one of the world’s greatest assets. They are all our ‘ocean heroes’ of tomorrow.“Cousteau, an impassioned spokesman and diplomat for the environment, has produced over 70 films, and been awarded the Emmy, the Peabody Award, the 7 d’Or? the French equivalent of the Emmy-and the Cable Ace Award. In 1998, he received the “Environmental Hero” Award from the Vice President of the United States, and became the first person to represent the environment in the Opening Ceremony of the 2002 Olympic Games. Cousteau was inducted in the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame in the Cayman Islands last year.