Jean Michele Cousteau, son of legendary aquatic explorer Jacques Cousteau, delivers a message of hope and conservation at Monmouth Universities 7th Annual Future of the Ocean Symposium.

Speaking at a packed house at Wilson Hall on Friday morning, Cousteau gave a warning to the audience filled with marine biology students, activists, and fans. He spoke of the impact humans have on the planets oceans, especially as populations increase.

"How much can it take, how long can it go on?"

The timing of the presentation, held by the Universities Urban Coast Institute, doesn't just line up at a time when conservation and clean water efforts in the state are ramping up, but personally Friday would have been the 100th birthday of Jean Michele's late father.

Cousteau recounted stories from his childhood and tales of his travels around the world with footage taken by him on his expeditions, detailing both the beauty of the ocean as well as the damage done to it by humans. He went into great detail of his experiences traveling in the Gulf Coast following the BP Oil Spill, as well as his accounts with the damage from the Fukushima disaster.

Though these stories have far reaches across the world, topics like water pollution and nuclear powers affect on aquatic life are things that were able to hit close to home for Monmouth Marine Biology Professor Jon Teidemann.

"He conveys that to audiences. Here's these global issues, here's these regional issues, but don't forget we have issues right in our own backyard that we have to deal with."

Bill Rosenblatt from the Surfrider Foundation, speaks to the universal message that Cousteau is able to give.

"You know one of the things his father said and I think he really promoted that cause is 'Everything you do, it's not that you can make a difference. It's that it does make a difference.'"

Jean Michele Cousteau famously follows in his father footsteps, acting not only as a premiere oceanic documentary filmmaker, explorer, and conservationist, but also the founder of the Ocean Futures Society an organization dedicated to acting as the "voice of the ocean."

Cousteau emphasized the message that today we are "one planet, one people" and that everyone has the ability to help. He says he continues to help educate the world about the ocean because in the words of his father, "people will protect the things they love."

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