"Jean-Michel Cousteau's Ocean Adventures" Comes to PBS

Posted by PBS Publicity on

A New Chapter in the Cousteau Legacy Sets Sail in Spring 2006


"We can't protect what we don't understand."

-Jean-Michel Cousteau


A generation ago, Jacques-Yves Cousteau revealed the oceans' mysteries to millions of landlocked PBS television viewers and inspired a groundswell of public awareness of the unique problems faced by the world's marine environments. Now, 30 years later, KQED Public Broadcasting and Ocean Futures Society, headed by Jacques' son Jean-Michel, will bring the Cousteau legacy back to PBS with JEAN-MICHEL COUSTEAU'S OCEAN ADVENTURES, a six-part HDTV series airing this spring.

Using state-of-the-art technology, Peabody and Emmy Award-winning Jean-Michel Cousteau and his acclaimed diving teams, accompanied by marine scientists and ecologists, will explore a thrilling array of natural phenomena, investigate little-known territories and eco-systems hundreds of feet beneath the ocean's surface, and come face-to-face with the friendly and ferocious inhabitants of the deep.

"We know more about the 'dead seas' of Mars than our own ocean," said Cousteau. "In this series, we are charting a course of human adventure and discovery of our real-life support system - our planet's ocean."

"PBS' commitment to quality marine science and ecology programming was inspired by the prescient explorations of Jacques Cousteau," said John Wilson, Sr. Vice President, PBS Programming. "Now our viewers will be able to take the next great journey into this realm with his son, Jean-Michael, and this unprecedented series."

Consistent with the Cousteau hallmarks of exploration and conservation, OCEAN ADVENTURES will share with television viewers the largely inaccessible, dangerous and spectacular locales across the globe. Through Jean-Michel's observations, the series will illuminate the great need for better understanding and sustainable management of the oceans' rich natural treasures.

The six one-hour programs included in the OCEAN ADVENTURES series are:


  • "Voyage to Kure" (Part I and Part II)--The Cousteau team sets sail on the Northwest Hawaiian Archipelago. There, they discover diverse wildlife populations above and below the sea, and investigate these species' fight against extinction and the devastating effects of pollution, mining, fishing and development on the most remote island group in the world.


  • "The Gray Whale Obstacle Course"-- The Cousteau team follows gray whales, unchanged for 600,000 years and under constant threat of extinction, from the nursery lagoons of Baja California north to frigid feeding grounds in the Bering Sea - through the longest and most polluted migration routes of any whale species.

  • "Sharks: At Risk"--Long feared as objects of terror, sharks are gaining a new reputation due to unprecedented observation - yet their numbers are quickly dwindling. To better understand shark behavior and the impact their reputation has had on their survival, the Cousteau team observes gray sharks in French Polynesia and great white sharks in South Africa - unprotected by a shark cage.


  • "America's Underwater Treasures" (Part I and Part II)--This two-part installment will take viewers to the rarely visited underwater parks that constitute the National Marine Sanctuary System - a diverse and uniquely American group of ecosystems that promise to inspire an ethic of ocean preservation that will translate far beyond any national borders.

Explorer, environmentalist, educator and film producer - for more than four decades Jean-Michel Cousteau has searched the world to document the pristine and perilous places of the oceans. Son of renowned ocean pioneer Jacques Cousteau, Jean-Michel grew up aboard the Calypso and Alcyone. As the founder and president of Ocean Futures Society, he travels the globe, meeting with world leaders, businesses, educators and children as a "voice for the ocean" and our planet's most significant ambassador of the water environment.

JEAN-MICHEL COUSTEAU'S OCEAN ADVENTURES is produced by KQED Public Broadcasting and Ocean Futures Society. The exclusive corporate sponsor is Dow Chemical Company.

About KQED
KQED Public Broadcasting operates KQED Public Television 9, one of the nation's most-watched public television stations during primetime, and KQED's digital television channels, which include KQED HD, KQED Encore, KQED World, KQED Life and KQED Kids; KQED Public Radio, the most-listened-to public radio station in the nation with an award-winning news and public affairs program service (88.5 FM in San Francisco and 89.3 FM in Sacramento); KQED.org, one of the most visited station sites in Public Broadcasting; and KQED Education Network, which brings the impact of KQED to thousands of teachers, students, parents and media professionals through workshops, seminars and resources.

About Ocean Futures Society
Ocean Futures Society is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. With the motto "Protect the ocean and you protect yourself," the mission of Ocean Futures Society is to explore our global ocean, inspiring and educating people throughout the world to act responsibly for its protection, documenting the critical connection between humanity and nature, and celebrating the ocean's vital importance to the survival of all life on our planet. OFS is based in Santa Barbara, California, USA, with offices in Paris and Lucca, Italy. For more information, visit www.oceanfutures.org.

About PBS
PBS is a private, nonprofit media enterprise that serves the nation's 349 public noncommercial television stations, reaching nearly 90 million people each week through on-air and online content. Bringing diverse viewpoints to television and the Internet, PBS provides high-quality documentary and dramatic entertainment, and consistently dominates the most prestigious award competitions. PBS is the leading provider of educational materials for K-12 teachers, and offers a broad array of educational services for adult learners. PBS' premier kids' TV programming and Web site, PBS KIDS Online (pbskids.org), continue to be parents' and teachers' most trusted learning environments for children. More information about PBS is available at pbs.org, one of the leading dot-org Web sites on the Internet, averaging more than 30 million unique visits and 380 million page views per month in 2004. PBS is headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia.

About Dow Chemical Company
Dow Chemical Company is a leader in science and technology, providing innovative chemical, plastic and agricultural products and services to many essential consumer markets. With annual sales of $40 billion, Dow serves customers in 175 countries and a wide range of markets that are vital to human progress: food, transportation, health and medicine, personal and home care, and building and construction, among others. Committed to the principles of sustainable development, Dow and its 43,000 employees seek to balance economic, environmental and social responsibilities. References to "Dow" or the "Company" mean the Dow Chemical Company and its consolidated subsidiaries unless otherwise expressly noted. Visit www.dow.com for further information.



Anne Wintroub, KQED; 415/553-2145; awintroub@kqed.org

Carrie Johnson, PBS; 703/739-5129; cjohnson@pbs.org