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A Mother’s Legacy

Jan and Philippe Cousteau with Crew

As many of you know, our father died when we were little, too young to really remember him. But, thanks to my mother, he was present in our lives all the same and the stories of our parent's adventures together are the inspiration behind all that we do today. If it weren't for my mother, who embodies the living memories that guide our sense of purpose, we would certainly not be where we are today.

Too often, my mother is overlooked as the real reason we have been able to accomplish so much. All the focus is on our father and our grandfather, because they are so well known to the general public. Although their accomplishments are extraordinary and rightly celebrated by millions of people around the world, I know they would want us to honor my mother by recognizing the strength of her love for my father and her courage in overcoming the devastating loss of his death by keeping the legacy of his life present in ours. Her stories, which she shared yesterday in a speech at the Sea and Space Symposium in Dominica, are the bedtime stories that Philippe and I grew up with. They are an extraordinary glimpse into adventures that were unique to their time and will never be again. They are the stories of a group of intrepid explorers that brought the water planet into focus for the whole world to see. Their travels around the world were infused with excitement, humor, tragedy and discovery. And my mother was an integral part of those expeditions.

Jan Cousteau and Seals