North America

17,500 miles across the USA, Canada, Mexico
June-November 2010
Exploration and Storytelling: Water Scarcity and Pollution in North America
About This Project

Expedition Blue Planet: North America was a five-month interactive exploration of critical water issues across the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. The expedition toured more than 17,500 miles in a biodiesel tour bus converted to serve as a “rolling Calypso” for daily production and web broadcasting of films, photos, and findings. In addition to filming a range of critical water issues on the Colorado River, the Gulf Coast, the Tennessee Valley, the Great Lakes, and Chesapeake Bay, Expedition leader Alexandra Cousteau and her team stopped in 20 communities along the route to host watershed action days. These action days brought attention to local water conservation heroes, connecting them with their communities, raising funds for their work, and bringing their challenges to the attention of the media. This expedition was National Geographic’s first ever “interactive” expedition.

Building on the Cousteau legacy of exploration and “experiential storytelling,” Alexandra has led Blue Legacy expeditions across 6 continents to tell some of the most critical water stories of our time. These interactive expeditions tell stories directly from the field to generate excitement and understanding around critical water issues with a network of media partners. Alexandra has produced over 100+ short films, thousands of images, blogs, and public engagement with over 100 million media impressions a month while she was in the field. These expeditions allow traditional and online media outlets to more effectively engage audiences and drive productive discussion around how people can protect their water and the places they love.


Blue Legacy is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded by Alexandra Cousteau – an iconic global water ambassador and explorer – who continues the storytelling legacy of her renowned grandfather Jacques-Yves Cousteau.

Through strategic collaborations, Blue Legacy infuses environmental science, technology, and exploration into digital media and storytelling assets to build public awareness of the interconnectivity and importance of local watersheds and global water resources, and to inspire more sustainable water management actions by business leaders, elected officials, communities, and citizens.

Blue Legacy’s mission is to empower people to reclaim and restore the world’s water, one community at a time.