During her grandfather’s campaign to save Antarctica, Alexandra gathered hundreds of signatures for his petition to prevent mining and oil drilling in this last remaining pristine, untouched continent. She watched as he started petitions, released films, and lobbied the French and American governments, spearheading a global campaign to save the Antarctic. As a result, a new international agreement, the Environmental Protection Protocol to the Antarctic Treaty was signed, which banned mining indefinitely and committed signatories to ‘the comprehensive protection of the Antarctic environment’. This extraordinary piece of international environmental law pre-emptively, and successfully, protected an entire continent. For Alexandra, it was a revelation and a source of deep inspiration.
Since then, she has always been involved in ocean conservation in some way, whether advocating for the expansion of marine protected areas, educating consumers about sustainable seafood, conducting deep sea surveys, rescuing dolphins and manatees, or investigating the impacts of oil spills and agricultural runoff on sensitive coastal zones.
Over the past few years, Alexandra has realized that conservation, the idea that we must protect what we have, is insufficient. Over 50% of blue natural capital in the oceans has been lost. If we want to leave a legacy for our children, we must do more than conserve. We must be strategic and relentless in our quest to restore ocean abundance.
To this end, Alexandra co-founded Oceans 2050 with the mission of turning science into action that can catalyze ocean abundance by 2050, in the span of one human generation.
Alexandra has been going on expedition since she was an infant. She traveled with her parents on location when they were filming for “Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau” from 1976 to 1979, and then intermittently joined her grandparents on the Calypso until the early 1990s. The experience of those expeditions with her father’s crew has shaped her sense of purpose, her connection to the ocean, and her love of adventure. For Alexandra, being with her crew on expedition is where she feels most alive and most at home.
Building on the Cousteau legacy of exploration and “experiential storytelling,” Alexandra has led or participated in expeditions across 6 continents over the past 20 years to tell some of the most critical water stories of our time.
Alexandra has been deeply involved in OCEANA’s campaigns to curb overfishing in the countries that control about one third of the world’s wild fish catch in order to win policy victories that can increase biodiversity in our oceans and deliver more seafood to the future.
Alexandra works with Oceana to reduce overfishing by advocating for science-based catch limits, reducing harmful fishing subsidies and stopping illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. She joined forces with Oceana as a Senior Adviser in 2011 to help mobilize awareness and support for the organization’s important work. She has joined Oceana expeditions, events and campaigns to help propel their important work to ever larger audiences and deeply believes in the mission and track record of the organization.