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Cousteau's son brings diving legacy to the Grenadines

The son of famed marine explorer Jacque Cousteau is set to open a dive centre on the southern Grenadines island of Petit St Vincent later this year. Jean-Michel Cousteau hopes the centre will continue his father's legacy of sharing the wonders of the underwater world and protecting the fragile marine environment for generations to come.

Cousteau's son brings diving legacy to the Grenadines

Jean-Michel Cousteau, son of diving legend and marine explorer Jacques Cousteau, is continuing his father's legacy by setting up a dive centre on the Caribbean island of Petit St Vincent (PSV) in the southern Grenadines. Jean-Michel Cousteau's Caribbean Divers, due to open by the end of the year, will offer guided dives, as well as training and PADI certification for all levels of divers.

The new dive centre, owned and operated by Jean-Michel Cousteau, is situated on the privately-owned island of Petit St Vincent, which features 22 eco-cottages dotted along its beautiful beaches and bluffs. Following extensive research of the reefs and aquatic life in the region, Cousteau said he felt Petit St Vincent would be the perfect place to share the wonders of coral reefs with guests and locals. The dive centre is the first step in an ongoing program to protect the region's waters and aquatic life.

Operating independently of the resort, the dive centre will share some of the island's facilities, including the existing dock and boathouse. Petit St Vincent's owner Phil Stephenson, explained:

"This project is personally very exciting for me. Like a lot of our guests, I grew up watching Jacques Cousteau's specials. It's what got me into scuba diving as a kid and produced a lifetime love of the ocean. Having Jean-Michel and his staff help teach PSV's guests about diving and the diversity of the undersea world is really a dream come true."

An on-staff naturalist will be on hand to offer guided underwater tours and hikes around the island to educate and entertain guests about the area's rich marine and terrestrial ecosystems. The naturalist will also work with local schools and NGOs on surrounding islands including Union Island, Carriacou and Petit Martinique to develop educational programs and projects.

The island is also working with scientists at Jean-Michel Cousteau's Ocean Futures Society to reduce its environmental footprint and make operations more eco-friendly. The resort has already replaced plastic drinking bottles with reusable glass bottles, installed a wastewater treatment plant to reduce the discharge of untreated waters, and plans to construct a retention pond for natural filtration using water lilies, tilapia fish and frogs, which will assist in natural mosquito reduction.

The resort will continue to grow as much of their own fruit and vegetables on the island as possible, rainwater will be harvested from rooftops for irrigation, and a composting system will be put into place. Jean-Michel Cousteau, commented:

"We must connect the ocean to the existence of every human being. My father used to say 'people protect what they love', and so it is our hope that by encouraging and enabling divers to explore the waters around PSV, and by initiating sustainability measures on the island, we will be creating ambassadors of the ocean and land for generations to come and share this important message: 'Protect the ocean and you protect yourself.'"

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