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Philippe Cousteau, grandson of famed oceanographer Jacques Cousteau, and pop musician Usher, have announced a partnership to create a volunteer organization for young people focusing on environmental issues.
Their “Water Planet Challenge” is aimed at
providing students with the knowledge, skills and tools needed to take
protective environmental action to help save earth’s oceans, rivers and
lakes. The program was announced last week at the annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative in New York.
The project will provide young people access
to course outlines that model opportunities, such as product
development and civic action, to support the health of the
planet. Micro-grants will be given to help support youth-backed projects.
Cousteau is CEO of EarthEcho International
nonprofit environmental education organization. Usher’s New Look
non-profit organization supporting youth to use their talents to become
Cousteau said the purpose of the program is to empower youth to change the world's environmental future. “This generation is more engaged in the environment and conservation
than any other before them," said Cousteau. "All they lack are the tools and the skills
to take effective action and get engaged in service in their
Cousteau says he hope the knowledge gained through the program will help students in protecting the environment and in their lives in general. "Investigating a need, creating a plan, solving a problem, taking action - these are all skills for good healthy stewards of our planet and our society,” Cousteau said.
The World Health Organization estimates more than one billion people lack access to safe drinking water and that 3.5 million deaths each year can be attributed to water-related diseases.