An award-winning filmmaker and globally recognized advocate on water issues, Alexandra Cousteau continues the work of the legendary Cousteau family.
In 2008, Alexandra joined dot-com entrepreneur Jonathan Smith to found Blue Legacy International to "tell the story of our Water Planet and shape society's dialogue to include water as one of the defining issues of our century by illustrating the interconnectedness of global water issues."
The Washington-based organization is a not-for-profit project of The Ocean Foundation and develops and distributes traditional and new media projects that inspire people to take action within their own watershed and on critical global water issues. Blue Legacy delivers its mission through expeditions to chronicle water issues, development and distribution of media and educational assets, and leadership in policy forums and action campaigns.
On June 30 of 2010, Cousteau and Smith led their international Expedition Blue Planet team on a non-stop 138 day exploration of water issues across the U.S, Canada, and Mexico. Traveling on a custom biodiesel production bus, the team collected stories on water management and use, water impacts, and pollution, and documented inspiring projects led by communities committed to "taking their water back."
The project titled Expedition Blue Planet marked National Geographic's first ever "live" social media expedition. In addition to filming incredible footage of iconic North American water stories, the Expedition teamed up with local water organizations along the way to host community action days and collaborated with Grammy and Academy Award-winning singer Melissa Etheridge for five concerts focused on water.
Just prior to the 2010 Expedition (and following a summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro to film a documentary on water), Cousteau served as the Global Water Advisor and spokesperson 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 many more in a worldwide event on water.
In 2008, she was honored as a National Geographic Emerging Explorer, an elite group of 11 visionary young trailblazers from around the world who push the boundaries of discovery, adventure, and global problem solving. She has been honored as an Earth Trustee by the UN and named a Principle Voice by CNN, and regularly delivers testimony on critical policy issues before the U.S Congress.
In 2011 she was named one of the World Economic Forum's Young Global Leaders. She currently sits on the board of directors of the Global Water Challenge, Mother Nature Network, and EarthEcho, as well as the Leadership Council of the Waterkeeper Alliance and the committee of The Shark Alliance.
Cousteau's work has a strong track record for earning global recognition. In addition to teaming up with her brother Philippe each year to host Planet Green's Blue August, she regularly joins hosts such as Anderson Cooper, Martha Stewart, Al Roker, and Katie Couric to discuss sustainability issues. She is regularly featured in publications ranging from Cosmopolitan, Glamour, and Elle to Reader's Digest, National Geographic, and Scientific American.
In addition to numerous awards from environmental organizations, she was named the 2009 recipient of the Peace Building and Environmental Stewardship Award from the Friends of the Arava Institute for her commitment to using her voice to "advocate for the importance of protecting the environment and illustrating that water can be a vehicle for peace."
Born into the family business and fluent in English, French, and Spanish, Cousteau is rapidly building a significant global audience of her own. By coupling traditional media tours and film with social media platforms, she has helped NGO, governmental, and corporate-led water programs engage record audiences for action.
She lends leadership on both corporate and nonprofit boards around the world including Global Water Challenge and her own Blue Legacy International. She has mastered the remarkable storytelling tradition handed down to her and has the unique ability to draw audiences into the weighty issues of policy, politics, and action.
Alexandra Cousteau is a frequent speaker at conferences, universities, and corporate functions on topics ranging from water issues and sustainability to the importance of exploration and innovation for today's leaders. She regularly incorporates footage straight from the field into her presentations to bring home the thrill of living each day by her grandfather's challenge to "go and see."