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Alexandra  Cousteau

Alexandra Cousteau

Ocean Conservationist & Environmental Advocate

Biography

Alexandra builds upon the more than 60 years of global name recognition to engage people who expect to hear credible environmental information from the third generation of this pioneering family of explorers. Born into the family business, Alexandra joined her parents in Easter Island on her first expedition at just four months old. By the age of three, she had toured Africa, exploring Egypt, Tunisia, Uganda and Kenya in the arms of her father. While many of those memories are now out of reach, the experience of those expeditions with her father’s crew has shaped her sense of purpose, her connection to the ocean, and her love of adventure. She could swim before she could walk and was one of the few who learned to dive with SCUBA from Captain Cousteau himself at the tender age of seven. Her childhood friends were the sea creatures that inhabit the rocky shorelines of the south of France. The ocean has been her guide ever since.​ Read More >

While Alexandra continues to find inspiration in her family legacy, she has since become a globally recognized advocate on ocean issues in her own right. She has led countless expeditions to better understand the issues facing our oceans and explore our connection to freshwater resources that are so critical to the health and prosperity of human communities. In the search for a deeper understanding of the issues that face us today (and perhaps a bit of excitement), she continues to push the boundaries of discovery, adventure, and global problem solving. In the process, she has walked for water with women in Africa, rescued Humpback whales from entanglements, climbed mountains and explored glaciers, guarded Leatherback turtles laying their eggs from poachers and even been rescued from a 15-foot Tiger shark by a pod of dolphins.

Over the decades she has spent working for the protection of our water planet, Alexandra has mastered the remarkable storytelling tradition handed down to her and has the unique ability to inspire audiences on the weighty issues of policy, politics and action. She has met with heads of state, industry leaders, fisher communities, and NGOs around the world to find solutions to pressing ocean issues. She pioneered the idea of telling real time stories from her expeditions on social media when Facebook and Twitter were still in their infancy. In 2010, her 5-month expedition around North America was National Geographic’s first ever “interactive expedition”. By coupling traditional media tours and film with social media platforms, she has helped ocean conservation programs engage record audiences for action. She has been named a National Geographic Emerging Explorer, a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, and has also received an honorary doctorate from Georgetown University, her alma mater.

Deeply saddened by the state of the oceans and the increasingly dire predictions for what would be left for her children to explore in 2050, Alexandra started developing the OCEANS 2050 initiative in October 2018. This initiative is a global program of ocean afforestation - restoring lost coastal habitats by designing, seeding and managing marine forests that provide habitat for marine life, reverse acidification and hypoxia, enhance coastal climate resilience and sequester CO2. This restoration mission in turn supports tourism and fishing jobs, helps mitigate climate change, creates wealth and meaningful jobs and provides food security for the planet’s growing population.

Alexandra also works closely with OCEANA as a Senior Advisor and has been deeply involved in Oceana's campaigns to curb overfishing in the countries that control about one third of the world’s wild fish catch in order to win policy victories that can increase biodiversity in our oceans and deliver more seafood to the future. Oceana is the largest international advocacy organization focused solely on ocean conservation. Their offices around the world work together to win strategic, directed campaigns that achieve measurable outcomes that will help make our oceans more bio diverse and abundant.

Ultimately, Alexandra’s motivation is to help bring about a future for her children that is as abundant as the one she once knew. Her children, also ocean lovers, support her efforts 100%. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

Connected by Water

Speech Topics

This Blue Planet: Preserving & Sustaining a Healthy Earth

On December 7, 1972, the crew of the Apollo 17 spacecraft took a photograph of the Earth at a distance of about 45,000 km. This iconic picture—The Blue Marble—captured what can only be truly appreciated from space: the fact that we live on a water planet. Yet while 70 percent of Earth is covered by water, only a tiny percentage (0.001 percent) of that water is fit for human consumption and accessible to aquatic and terrestrial species. Although the amount of water on the planet has remained nearly the same since the Earth was first formed, human impacts have substantially reduced the amount of water that is available for us to drink, fish from, and swim in.

As our blue planet continues its orbit, environmental advocate and speaker Alexandra Cousteau urges us to view global water issues not as a disparate collection of unrelated problems, but rather through a systems-based approach that recognizes the fundamental interconnectivity of these issues and places renewed emphasis on protecting our planet’s most vital resource.

Cousteau advocates an approach that recognizes how crucial it is to preserve natural water systems while taking into account the numerous demands, threats, and developments within a watershed. From managing resources and addressing pollution to planning appropriately for the placement of cities, factories, and farms, we must focus on careful economic planning and ecosystem-based management to preserve and sustain a healthy Earth for generations to come.

How to Be a Lifelong Explorer: Leadership Through the Lens of Exploration & Invention

Alexandra Cousteau is an explorer of our water planet. And when it comes to authentic and impactful storytelling, expeditions are just as important today as they were when Captain Cousteau first sealed cameras in Bell jars to explore the depths. But exploration is not just about discovery: it’s also about leadership and innovation.

Highlighting the revolutionary inventions made by her grandfather and the cutting-edge ways that Blue Legacy reaches a worldwide audience, speaker Alexandra Cousteau encourages everyone to be an explorer—and protector—of our water planet, because as the primary shareholders who enjoy the dividends of healthy water systems, we are all connected, and we are all in this together.

Cousteau brings audiences on a journey from her earliest memories with her grandfather teaching her to scuba dive to her many adventures today. Along the way, she provides a unique perspective on how important it is to be not only an endlessly curious observer of the world but also an active participant in its preservation. Cousteau is leading communities to “take back” their water and make an investment in their future guaranteed to pay dividends.

Explorer, Filmmaker, Advocate &... Mom: Being a 21st-Century Woman & Digital Pioneer

While she has traveled across the globe to the most remote and exotic locations imaginable, speaker Alexandra Cousteau’s greatest discovery was giving birth to her baby daughter. This transformative experience has reinforced her conviction in the importance of protecting our water planet and has given her the chance to reach out to mothers and women everywhere to provide them with a message of inspiration to lead a pioneering life—and to never give up on their dreams.

As women increasingly compete for the highest-level positions in politics and the workforce of the 21st century, they face new challenges balancing the demands of their career and family life. Yet the new century presents many exciting new opportunities. Highly educated, empowered with technology, and driven by the notion that nothing less than complete equality on all fronts will suffice, women are not only impacting the agenda—they are writing it.

Cousteau tells a story about going against the grain—taking chances in life and following her own vision—in order to demonstrate why innovation in filmmaking and online distribution are so critical for engaging modern audiences and motivating people to take action in shaping the future that we—and our precious children—will inhabit.

Telling the Story of Our Water Planet: Innovation in Filmmaking & Social Media to Effect Environmental Change

Building on the Cousteau legacy of exploration and “experiential storytelling,” speaker Alexandra Cousteau’s expeditions generate excitement and understanding about water issues and deliver “conversation-shaping” short films, blogs, images, and interactive elements that allow traditional and online media outlets to more effectively engage their audiences and drive productive discussions around the interconnectivity of water issues through the lens of watershed-first thinking. Read More >

Through award-winning multimedia, Cousteau shines a spotlight on critical water resources and combines traditional filmmaking with “live” social media campaigns designed to give mainstream audiences the opportunity to learn through credible exploration and be inspired by the thrill of adventure-based conservation. By blending timely coverage of key water issues with new media trends and technologies, Cousteau delivers a presentation that: Read Less ^

  • Challenges individuals to identify and connect with their personal water footprint and local watershed
  • Explores the global interconnectivity of water through a better practical understanding of the hydrosphere and water cycle
  • Inspires a broader and better-informed conversation on critical water issues by exploring timely and sometimes unexpected stories related to our connections to water

Books & Media

Media

Podcast: The Adventurous

Connect with Alexandra Cousteau