KEY BISCAYNE (CBSMiami) – Wednesday is World Water Day and one of the names most synonymous with water research is in South Florida.
Environmentalist Philippe Cousteau Jr, grandson of the famous Jaques Cousteau, spent the day testing water samples off Crandon Park in Key Biscayne with area students.
“Right here, right today, it looks good,” Cousteau said as he looked around the beach.
His organization, EarthEcho, hosted fifth graders from American Heritage School and Citrus Grove Elementary at the Biscayne Nature Center.
The 125 students also learned about the importance of healthy waterways.
It’s a lesson Cousteau believes we all need now more than ever, as environmental initiatives potentially face federal budget cuts.
“I’m very, very concerned that we’re so willing to throw around words like ‘oh the EPA is superfluous’ or ‘it’s unnecessary’ or ‘it hurts the economy, it hurts this country,’ when in fact every day the EPA is making sure the most precious things that we have, clean air and clean water, are maintained,” he said.
It’s why organizations like Miami Waterkeeper believe their role in environmental protection is more important now than ever.
“Ensuring that our water, not only our surface water such as Biscayne bay, but our drinking water is healthy and clean,” said Kelly Cox with Miami Waterkeeper.
EarthEcho says its brought water testing to 1.4 million people in 143 countries.
It’s a push to develop so-called citizen scientists to protect a resource we drink, bathe and, in South Florida, play in.
“Pretty common sense things but still in surprised when you see people just walking past trash on the beach,” Cousteau said.
Cousteau believes we can all do our part. His rule: pick up three items, throw in trash.