Cousteau Presents: Saving the Planet

Cousteau Presents: Saving the Planet

The 6th annual UCF Community Summit on Environment and Global Climate Change will take place Tuesday, March 27, at the University of Central Florida.

The summit program will begin at 2 p.m., and environmental advocate Alexandra Cousteau will give the keynote presentation entitled “Saving the Planet” at 3 p.m. in the Cape Florida Ballroom of the Student Union.

In 2008, Cousteau, who is the granddaughter of oceanographer and conservationist Jacques-Yves Cousteau, joined dot-com entrepreneur Jonathan Smith to found Blue Legacy International. The Washington, D.C.-based organization is a not-for-profit project of The Ocean Foundation that develops and distributes traditional and new media projects that inspire people to take action on critical local and global water issues.

In June 2010, Cousteau and Smith led their international Expedition Blue Planet team on a non-stop 138-day exploration of water issues across the United States, Canada and Mexico. Traveling on a custom biodiesel production bus, the team collected stories on water management, use and pollution. The project marked National Geographic’s first “live” social media expedition. In addition to filming footage of North American water stories, the expedition teamed up with local water organizations along the way to host community-action days and collaborated with Grammy-winning singer Melissa Etheridge for five concerts focused on water.

Just prior to the 2010 Expedition, Cousteau served as the Global Water Adviser and spokeswoman for the global Live Earth Run for Water, a project that paired her public advocacy on environmental issues with actress Jessica Biel, musician Pete Wentz and others.

The UCF summit, organized by the UCF Global Perspectives Office, is a co-curricular component of the UCF General Education Program unifying theme “The Environment and Global Climate Change.”

Linda Walters, UCF professor of biology, will open the summit at 2 p.m. by addressing the biological state of Earth’s marine waters as well as how humans have played a role in impacting those waters.

The event is free and open to the public.

In addition to the Global Perspectives Office, sponsors and partners include the UCF Office of Undergraduate Studies, Lawrence J. Chastang and the Chastang Foundation, Orlando Area Committee on Foreign Relations, the UCF Political Science Department, UCF Book Festival 2012 in association with the Morgridge International Reading Center, UCF Focus the Nation, and the Global Connections Foundation.