Cousteaus Set Marine Education Sails to Israel


Jean-Michel Cousteau

A few strategically placed keywords in a news article has given birth to marine education collaboration between Jean-Michel Cousteau's Ocean Futures Society and Israel's EcoOcean

Working as a full-time writer/editor/reporter is often a thankless job. Once and a while people write me to say "thanks," or "your grammar is terrible," or "how I can get a kidney transplant in Israel" etc. Most of the time, it's as though my work goes into outer space.

A few months ago, I got some incredible feedback from a story I'd written about EcoOcean, a marine research and education ship based in Israel. Andreas Weil, the founder of EcoOcean and now a friend calls: "Karin, you have changed my life. The Cousteaus read your article about EcoOcean."

What ensued was a dream Weil couldn't have imagined in a million years. The legendary Cousteau family was asking EcoOcean to collaborate on marine education in Israel. Weil recalls his heart skipping a beat when he was first contacted by Jean-Michel Cousteau's organization, the Ocean Futures Society. He tells ISRAEL21c: "I knew about the famous Jacques Cousteau since I was seven. I envisioned myself maybe in 10 or 20 years from now meeting someone from this foundation, in the same room, at a conference.


Jacques Cousteau

Cousteau, the son of his late father Jacques, then wrote us at ISRAEL21c: "It is very important to make all of Israel's youth appreciate the value of their marine resources and we applaud the good work of EcoOcean in this important endeavor."

The two organizations are now looking into ways to broaden marine research and education in Israel. The impact could reach the entire Middle East region, where water security has become such a major issue.

With nothing written down on paper, if the collaboration works well, the Cousteaus may consider building an education center in Israel under their name and EcoOcean's. Such a center would benefit all sectors of Israeli society, such as the Arab minority and underprivileged kids who get little environmental education. Both are now at the information-exchanging level.

"Jean-Michel Cousteau is interested in creating a global network of environmental education programs through an expansion of the Ambassadors of the Environment program," explains Richard Murphy, the director of science and education at the Ocean Futures Society. "In short," says Murphy, "it would be a perfect complement to what EcoOcean is doing, and aspires to do at a greater level, in Israel."

The fish are probably clapping their fins as we speak.

Anyone out there have any news on how stories or blog posts you've written have impacted the environment? Let us know. We'd love to hear about it.

More marine research stories about Israel on TreeHugger:
:: Israel's Sea Is Not For Chickens
:: Benjamin Kahn A Time Magazine Hero
:: Study At Sea, On Land
::Unintended Side Effects for Corals
::Green Prophet via ISRAEL21c

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