Cousteau. Since the 1950s, the name has been synonymous with ocean exploration, risk-taking and... water.
As the granddaughter of legendary French explorer Jacques Cousteau and daughter to his son Philippe, Alexandra Cousteau grew up smitten by the precious natural resource. Whether it was the fact she could "swim before she could walk" or her first scuba adventures at age 7, Cousteau has kept the mission of her explorer bloodline in tact, caring deeply about the world's waterways and dwindling water resources at the hands of climate change and human neglect. As Cousteau put it during our conversation, with grave sentiment, "I've seen places I knew as a child disappear."
As the founder of Blue Legacy International
, a global non-profit founded in 2009 that's "a storytelling organization working really hard to give a balanced perspective of water issues so people can start conversations," Cousteau, once honored as a National Geographic "Emerging Explorer," is hoping that her films, curiosity and fearlessness to tell stories about the world's water crises will inspire people to keep up with what's really important.
"Water shapes the land you live on. It shapes your experience of the place you call home. It impacts the prosperity of your community, the health of your family and usually the environmental abundance that you enjoy," Cousteau says. "And as we move into a period of time where water is in crisis, engaging with your community around the conservation of that resource... allows you to access personal benefits that most people didn't imagine until they did it. Then they have new people in their life, a more beautiful environment in their life... and something their children can grow up with and enjoy in their life."
Cousteau can often be found in Washington, D.C., where Blue Legacy is based. For Earth Day, she put together a collection of places that can help you tap into a smarter water plan, as we band together to try and save our planet, drip by drip.