Living Blue

Alexandra Cousteau documents water crisis in India and around the world.©

Protecting the world’s oceans is a family affair for Alexandra Cousteau—granddaughter of Jacques—who is traveling through five continents over the course of 100 days to explore the interconnectivity of water. Documenting her journey by video and blog, Expedition: Blue Planet, takes Alexandra to India, Botswana, Jordan, Australia, Cambodia, The Red Sea and Louisiana. Her team is showing the extraordinary value of water and the measures we must take to protect this precious—and dwindling—resource.

She has traveled to some of the world’s most polluted water bodies. In India, Alexandra explored the length of the Ganges, which is polluted far beyond safe levels for drinking or bathing. She writes: "32 pipes discharge an estimated 200 million liters of raw, untreated human sewage into the Ganges at Varanasi every day. As a result, the fecal coliform bacteria count is 3,000 times higher than the World Health Organization considers safe. Drinking the water makes many people sick with hepatitis, typhoid, and cholera." The statistics are chilling, but interspersed with personal thoughts ("Up here in nature, away from the frantic energy of India’s cities, the spirit feels calm and the water runs pure") and vivid images.

Throughout her trip she is updating her website with footage, photos and stories from the water she studies and the people she meets. She is investigating the effects of pollution and development as well as population growth and climate change. "This expedition is not just about oceans," she writes, "it’s about people, our connection to water issues around the world, and a recognition that we all have the power to protect and replenish our most important life support system."

CONTACT: Alexandra Cousteau