Jean-Michel Cousteau to Inspire Ocean Conservation During Presentations at The Marine Mammal Center and Aquarium of the Bay, September 20, 2012

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Famed ocean explorer and educator, Jean-Michel Cousteau, will speak with schoolchildren at The Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, CA on Sept. 20, 2012.

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Jean-Michel Cousteau

“We are honored to welcome Mr. Cousteau to The Marine Mammal Center and to give the schoolchildren visiting us a unique opportunity to ask him questions about the oceans;" explained Dr. Jeff Boehm, executive director, The Marine Mammal Center.

(SAUSALITO, Calif. – September 18, 2012) – Schoolchildren from two Bay Area elementary schools will learn about the effects marine debris and plastics have on the ocean from French filmmaker, environmentalist, and ocean educator Jean-Michel Cousteau, at an America’s Cup Healthy Oceans Project (ACHOP) event to be held at The Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito on September 20. The 74-year old son of famed ocean explorer, Jacques-Yves Cousteau, will engage children from Willow Creek Academy, located in Sausalito, and Marshall Elementary, located in San Francisco, during a half-day of activities, including a beach talk and presentation at Rodeo Beach, watching a rehabilitated sea lion patient from The Marine Mammal Center return to the ocean, and participating in fun classroom activities and presentations with the Center’s educators and Mr. Cousteau. This is one of a number of ACHOP events planned throughout the Bay Area over the course of the next year, all with the goal of inspiring millions to care about the ocean and its inhabitants and to leave a positive ocean legacy to benefit marine life and future generations.

“We are honored and thrilled to welcome Mr. Cousteau to The Marine Mammal Center to hear his insights into ocean health – something that we are all very passionate about – and to give the schoolchildren visiting us that day a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to ask him questions directly about the ocean, marine debris pollution, and anything else they would like to learn about marine life,” explained Dr. Jeff Boehm, executive director at The Marine Mammal Center. “We teach 30,000 school kids each year about ocean conservation and marine mammals, through our onsite and Whale Bus programs, in order to develop the next generation of ocean stewards. We believe this event is going to leave a positive and memorable impression on them.”

Through ACHOP, The Marine Mammal Center, in partnership with other Bay Area environmental conservation organizations, including; Aquarium of the Bay, The Bay Institute, Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, Mission Blue, Monterey Bay Aquarium; and Save the Bay, will provide education and advocacy on three core issues including; marine protected areas, sustainable seafood, and marine debris and plastics pollution.

“Protecting our bay, coast and ocean resources is critical for the environment and for a thriving ocean and Bay Area economy, ” explained Brian Baird, advisor to Aquarium of the Bay and The Bay Institute, and former Assistant Secretary for Ocean and Coastal Policy for the State of California. “I’m delighted to work with the Bay Institute, the Aquarium, the America’s Cup Event Authority, and many other partners to fight for the health of our ocean. I believe we can make a difference.”

While the September 20 morning event at The Marine Mammal Center will inspire schoolchildren about the wonders of the ocean and its inhabitants, another event to be held that evening at Aquarium of the Bay in San Francisco’s famed PIER 39, will present a more in-depth message to adults during a film and lecture series entitled: Plastics in our Oceans; How bad is it. Jean-Michel Cousteau will be joined by John Largier (Bodega Lab) and Melanie Nutter (SF Environment Director) at this free public event that begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Aquarium’s Bay Theater. Details at http://www.aquariumofthebay.org/lectures

Media are invited for interview, photo and video opportunities with Jean-Michel Cousteau, The Marine Mammal Center, and Aquarium of the Bay, to talk about ocean conservation, marine debris, and marine mammals, on September 20, according to the following schedule:

9:00-9:45 AM    
Interviews, photos and video with Jean-Michel Cousteau at The Marine Mammal Center, 2000 Bunker Rd., Sausalito, CA, Marin Headlands. Media interested in conducting one-on-one interviews with Mr. Cousteau at The Marine Mammal Center should contact Jim Oswald at (415) 289-7341 by Wed. Sept. 19.

10:00-10:45 AM     
Introductory remarks from Dr. Jeff Boehm and Jean-Michel Cousteau. Sea lion patient released back to the ocean at Rodeo Beach. Great video and photo opportunity as schoolchildren and guests watch the release. Another interview opportunity with Mr. Cousteau and The Marine Mammal Center can be available then.

11:30 AM-12:30 PM    
Schoolchildren are split into 3 groups of 30 to 50 for activities that include tours of the Center led by education docents and classroom Q&A with Jean-Michel Cousteau. These activities can be photographed or filmed.

5:30-6:30 PM    
Interview opportunities at Aquarium of the Bay with Jean-Michel Cousteau, prior to the start of the presentation, may be arranged in advance by contacting Cyril Manning at (415) 623-5343.

About The Marine Mammal Center:
The Marine Mammal Center is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit veterinary hospital, research and educational center dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of ill and injured marine mammals and to the study of their health. Since 1975, the Center has been headquartered in the Marin Headlands, Sausalito, CA within the Golden Gate National Parks and has rescued and treated more than 17,500 marine mammals. The Center operates triage rescue centers in Moss Landing, CA and San Luis Obispo, CA, and maintains trained responders in Mendocino County. The Marine Mammal Center is free to visit and is open to the public daily, 10 A.M. – 5 P.M. Visitors get a unique opportunity to learn about marine mammals through viewing areas, educational exhibits and docent-led tours. For more information, go to: http://www.MarineMammalCenter.org

About Aquarium of the Bay:
Aquarium of the Bay is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit marine nature center affiliated with The Bay Institute. The Aquarium is dedicated to inspiring conservation of San Francisco Bay and its watershed, from the Sierra to the sea. It is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), and certified as a Green Business by the city of San Francisco. Additional information on Aquarium of the Bay is available at http://www.aquariumofthebay.org, and at The Bay Institute at http://www.bay.org.

About the America’s Cup Healthy Ocean Project:
The 34th America’s Cup Healthy Ocean Project is a Global “Call to Action” Campaign that embraces the connection between sailing and the ocean. The overall goal of the Healthy Ocean Project is to create awareness around the problems that face the ocean and inspire individual action around the solutions that exist. The project focuses on three core issues: Marine Protected Areas, sustainable seafood, and marine debris/plastics. America’s Cup Local Healthy Ocean Project partners are: Aquarium of the Bay, Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, Mission Blue, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Save the Bay, The Marine Mammal Center, and Thank You Ocean.

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Jim Oswald
The Marine Mammal Center
(415) 289-7341
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