Jean-Michel Cousteau Talks with Ocean Leaders at Ceremony

Santa Barbara, CA

At the ground-breaking ceremony on Monday, January 10th for a new Ocean Science Education Building being built through a new partnership between the National Oceanographic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB), Jean-Michel Cousteau was one of the ocean enthusiasts honoring the need to increase ocean awareness and ocean protection. Jean-Michel spoke with Congresswoman Lois Capps, NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco, and National Marine Sanctuary Director Dan Basta on the subject of ocean education and collaboration.

“Ocean education is key; and we need a new ocean ethic, understanding not only the beauty and the bounty but the fragility and the vulnerability of our oceans and the positive things that can be done to recover that lost bounty,” according to Dr. Jane Lubchenco, NOAA.

Students from Cesar Chavez Charter School gave visitors a taste of the types of marine programs offered in the local community. The program at Cesar Chavez is part of the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary’s MERITO Academy. “It stands for Multicultural Education for Resource Issues Threatening Oceans, and means ‘merit’ in Spanish,” said Laura Francis of NOAA.

“How can people protect what they do not fully understand? The new facility, the Ocean Science Education Building, will be a wonderful addition to a variety of marine education opportunities in the Santa Barbara community. At the doorstep of one of the richest, most diverse, marine environments in the world, I am thrilled to be a part of this grand event,” said Jean-Michel Cousteau.