Philippe Cousteau, Jr. Leads EarthEcho Expedition: Beyond Dead Zones to Explore the Impact of Ocean Acidification and Pollution on Marine Ecosystems in South Florida

Local Students Join U.S. State Department-Sponsored Youth From South America to Investigate Challenges and Solutions

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| Source: EarthEcho International

WASHINGTON, Sept. 3, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Philippe Cousteau's environmental education and youth leadership nonprofit EarthEcho International (www.earthecho.org) today announced EarthEcho Expedition: Beyond Dead Zones to the outer reef of the Florida Keys and the agricultural heart of Central Florida, to take place September 16-19, 2014. The project is part of EarthEcho Expeditions, an annual program that leverages the rich Cousteau legacy of exploration and discovery to bring science education alive for today's 21st century learners.

"South Florida is home to some of North America's most important and imperiled ecosystems," said Cousteau. "With this installment of EarthEcho Expeditions, we are focused on helping young people in South Florida and around the world understand how they can invest in the future in the face of growing environmental challenges including climate change and pollution."

Cousteau and a documentary film crew will travel to environmental hotspots with scientists to conduct research in the field and investigate how increases in both air and water pollution may be threatening treasured resources. Along the way they will meet with local community leaders and youth who are taking action to mitigate these environmental threats. Expedition highlights include:

-- Fifteen students and three educators from Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, will work with the EarthEcho team and local organizations to reintroduce native plant species in critical storm-water treatment areas. These students are part of the U.S. Department of State Youth Leadership Program, implemented in partnership with World Learning Inc.;

-- Students from Rockway Middle School in South West Miami will cultivate staghorn coral as part of a larger community-wide restoration effort;

-- Philippe Cousteau will look at how scientists from the USGS are monitoring coral regrowth in areas impacted by reduced water quality; and

-- A Google Hangout event celebrating World Water Monitoring Challenge will be hosted by EarthEcho to demonstrate water testing from the field and answer questions from students tuning in LIVE across the world. For more information: http://bit.ly/1o6Yh4G.

The EarthEcho Expeditions LIVE online events and video provide the foundation for dynamic educational tools and resources including: documentary style stories of youth action, exploration into science careers, lesson plans and classroom activities, image galleries and comprehensive guides for youth action. All resources will be provided free of charge to registered educators and students beginning January 2015.

This new expedition is made possible through the support of the following partners: Everglades Youth Conservation Camp; Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission; Miami-Dade County Public Schools; Pine Jog Environmental Education Center; South Florida Water Management District; USGS Coral Reef Ecosystem Studies; the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs; and World Learning Inc.

About EarthEcho Expeditions

EarthEcho Expeditions is an annual program that travels the world to engage young people in a voyage of discovery. Inspired by the work and legacy of Jacques-Yves Cousteau and Philippe Cousteau, Sr., EarthEcho Expeditions leverages the thrill of adventure to bring science education alive for today's 21st century learners. EarthEcho Expeditions transform learning for middle- and high-school students through three phases that span a year of youth engagement and community action. The program launched September 2013 with EarthEcho Expedition: Into the Dead Zone and an exploration of one of the world's largest aquatic dead zones located in the heart of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. For more information visit www.earthecho.org/expeditions and follow us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/earthecho, Twitter: www.twitter.com/earthecho, Hashtags: #EarthEcho, #SouthFlorida, #cousteau and Google+: www.google.com/+EarthEcho.

Norma Ardila
(305) 904-9587