On June 25, 1997, French oceanographer Jacques-Yves Cousteau died at age 87 in Paris, France. The famous explorer graduated from the French Naval Academy in 1933 and spent much of his life on or in water.

 

Cousteau’s contributions to oceanography are myriad. He helped develop the Aqua Lung, a predecessor to contemporary scuba gear. He was able to document the use of echolocation among porpoise populations. He discovered the wreck of the Britannic, sister ship of the Titanic.

 

Cousteau was also an avid conservationist, constantly calling attention to the far-reaching consequences of ocean pollution. He successfully lobbied against the dumping of radioactive waste, and was awarded several environmental prizes.

 

Cousteau’s most long-lasting impact, however, may be as a filmmaker. Through movies and television series broadcast all over the world, Cousteau helped teach the world about pollution and its effects on the ocean and nearby coastal areas.

avid
Adjective

enthusiastic.

broadcast
Verb

to transmit signals, especially for radio or television media.

conservationist
Noun

person who works to preserve natural habitats.

contemporary
Adjective

having to do with the present time period.

document
Verb

to keep track of.

echolocation
Noun

ability used by some animals to emit high-pitched sounds and determine an object's distance by the time it takes for those sounds to echo.

explorer
Noun

person who studies unknown areas.

Jacques Cousteau
Noun

(1910-1997) French aquatic explorer and scientist.

myriad
Noun

large number of things.

oceanographer
Noun

person who studies the ocean.

Noun

introduction of harmful materials into the environment.

predecessor
Noun

person or thing that held a title or position before someone or something else.

radioactive
Adjective

having unstable atomic nuclei and emitting subatomic particles and radiation.

scuba
noun, adjective

(self-contained underwater breathing apparatus) portable device for breathing underwater.

Titanic
Noun

luxury cruise ship that sank in the North Atlantic Ocean in 1912.

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