SOURCE: Bonnet Rouge; Fabien Cousteau

Bonnet Rouge; Fabien Cousteau

September 23, 2014 15:00 ET

Beyond Mission 31 Fabien Cousteau to Launch Ocean Learning Center in Florida

MIAMI, FL--(Marketwired - Sep 23, 2014) - Fabien Cousteau successfully completed his Mission 31 endeavor when he broke the ocean's surface, ascending from Aquarius at 9:05 a.m. on Wednesday, July 2, after an epic 31 days living and working in the world's only underwater marine laboratory, operated by Florida International University (FIU) and situated 63 feet below the surface near deep coral reef in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. The Mission 31 Splash-up Celebration took place at Cheeca Lodge & Spa that evening where Cousteau and his Mission 31 team including Kip Evans, Matt Ferraro, Mark Hulsbeck, Liz Magee, Andy Shantz, Grace Young and Adam Zenone were presented with Mission 31 aquanaut certificates.

Three years' worth of scientific data was collected during the 31-day mission that science partners FIU and Northeastern University anticipate will result in at least 10 published studies. While underwater, Cousteau and his team completed more than 70 sessions with children as a part of his STEM-themed Skype in the classroom program.

Cousteau's Bonnet Rouge production team produced a total of 31 onsite videos documenting Mission 31. This footage (https://www.youtube.com/user/Mission31channel/videos) will also be used to help create Cousteau's documentary film. A teaser will be presented at the BLUE Ocean Film Festival on Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014, in St. Petersburg, Florida at the Mahaffey Theater (purchase tickets at: http://sched.co/1hMDkd2).

"Mission 31 was a huge success and we plan to use this expedition as a launching pad for further interactive STEM educational platforms modeled after Mission 31 to inspire the next generation of ocean explorers," said Cousteau. "Young people are crucial to the health of our ocean. Just as my grandfather Jacques-Yves Cousteau inspired a generation of ocean advocates, it's now time to pass that excitement for our ocean to the next generation." 

To that end, Cousteau plans to establish a Fabien Cousteau Ocean Learning Center in South Florida. The center will be a virtual platform to afford children around the world the opportunity to learn about the ocean and engage with Cousteau directly through social media and interactive videos. The concept is based on the virtual classroom sessions that took place during Mission 31. 

"Florida is a logical base for the Ocean Learning Center," said Cousteau. "We have access to a diverse water system of ocean, lakes, rivers, estuaries, the Everglades, coral reefs, and of course, the Florida Keys is the location of Aquarius."

Cousteau is now building strategic educational and corporate partnerships to open the Fabien Cousteau Ocean Learning Center in early 2015.

Fabien Cousteau's Mission 31 is the longest science expedition to take place at Aquarius, the world's only underwater marine laboratory. Cousteau's Mission 31 expedition broke new ground in ocean exploration paying homage to the 50th anniversary of his grandfather's efforts of leading a team of ocean explorers on the first attempt to live and work at the first underwater habitat for humans. Mission 31 honored Jacques-Yves Cousteau's original experiment by going deeper, longer and further while broadcasting each moment live on multiple channels exposing the world to the adventure, drama and mystique of what lies beneath (www.mission-31.com). Go beyond Mission 31 and follow Cousteau's next adventures at: http://fabiencousteau.org and @FCousteau.

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