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An Evening with Jean-Michel Cousteau at the Tennessee Aquarium
Learn about Dolphins and Whales and the Health of Our Oceans

Cousteau

Chattanooga, Tenn. (May 8, 2008) – When viewed from space, our planet is more blue than green. The world’s oceans cover nearly two-thirds of Earth, while we live on the remaining one-third. Yet it is only within relatively recent times that humans are discovering how important the oceans are to our existence. “Today, more than ever before, we know that everything in our world is connected. The health of our planet-our living biosphere-is vitally interconnected to the health of all its inhabitants and habitats,” said Jean-Michel Cousteau, ocean explorer and environmentalist.

For more than four decades Jean-Michel Cousteau has used his vast experiences to share his love and concern for our water planet with people world-wide. And on Thursday, May 22nd, the son of the legendary ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau will recount adventures with his family exploring the world’s oceans aboard Calypso and Alcyone at the Tennessee Aquarium.

Honoring his heritage, Jean-Michel founded Ocean Futures Society in 1999 to carry on this pioneering work. As Executive Vice President of The Cousteau Society for nearly 20 years, and now as Founder and President of Ocean Futures Society, Jean-Michel travels the globe, meeting with leaders and policymakers at the grassroots level and at the highest echelons of government and business. In fact, Jean-Michel’s diplomacy on behalf of water and ocean issues helped convince President George W. Bush to name the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands a Marine National Monument after screening his PBS documentary on the subject at the White House in 2006.

Jean-Michel Cousteau is now serving as film ambassador for 3D Entertainment’s most recent film, Dolphins and Whales 3D. Cousteau believes this experience will help bridge the gap between people and the mammals who call the oceans home. “Don your 3D glasses that look like we don our underwater masks and you will have the same experience or almost the same experience as these fabulous, extraordinary creatures come toward you and, very gently, avoid contact so not to hurt you. These animals are the most elegant animals that you could think of: dolphins, whales, manatees. As bizarre as some of them may be, you will understand how important they are to the marine environment and, thus, to every one of us,” Cousteau said.

Underwater filmmaker Gavin McKinney will join Cousteau in the Aquarium’s auditorium to share his experience capturing the images seen in Dolphins and Whales 3D. Many people are already familiar with McKinney’s underwater work. He’s spent more than 20,000 hours underwater working on projects such as five of the James Bond movies, Splash, Speed 2, Jaws: the Revenge and The Abyss.

McKinney also co-produced and served as director of photography on 3D Entertainment’s ocean-themed films series shown at the Tennessee Aquarium IMAX 3D Theater, Ocean Wonderland 3D, Sharks 3D and now Dolphins and Whales 3D.  The filmmaker believes viewing Dolphins and Whales 3D will be as inspiring for audiences as it was him as a filmmaker. “For me, being in the blue ocean was exhilarating and at some times almost scary because simply of the size of these animals. When you see them on the surface, it’s one thing. But when you see them under the water and they’re just within touching distance of you, makes you feel about the size of an ant and very insignificant. So, being in the blue with the animal makes you feel quite lonely in terms of how important you are but it’s an amazing experience,” McKinney said.

Tickets for this special evening with Jean-Michel Cousteau and Gavin McKinney are available online or by phone: 423-267-FISH. Prices include a special preview of Dolphins and Whales 3D – Tribes of the Ocean at IMAX, presentation by Jean-Michel Cousteau in the Aquarium’s auditorium and reception to meet these living legends.

Adult: $20/Member; $25/Non-Member
Child (3-12): $15/Member; $20/Non-Member
Limited to 190

Proceeds benefit Tennessee Aquarium conservation initiatives.

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The Tennessee Aquarium inspires wonder and appreciation for the natural world. Admission is $19.95 per adult and $12.95 per child, ages 3-12. Each ticket purchased helps support Aquarium conservation programs. The IMAX® 3D Theater is next door to the Aquarium. Ticket prices are $8.50 per adult and $6.00 per child. Aquarium/IMAX combo tickets are $25.95 for adults and $17.95 for children. Advance tickets may be purchased online at www.tnaqua.org or by phone at 1-800-262-0695. The Aquarium, located on the banks of the Tennessee River in Chattanooga, is a non-profit organization. Open every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas, the Aquarium and IMAX are accessible to people with disabilities. Members enjoy unlimited visits and other benefits. Call 267-FISH to join.

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