Just as her legendary grandfather Jacques-Yves was passionate about marine life, Alexandra Cousteau’s passion for the future of the earth’s water resources is palpable. “Water will be the principal defining crisis of this century,” Cous­teau says. “History will be made over how we manage our water resources.”

Since returning from Costa Rica last September, where she had been campaigning on behalf of marine sanctuaries, Cousteau has made it her personal and professional mission to advocate for protecting and replenishing the earth’s water systems. She signed on with publisher Penguin to write a book, scheduled for March 2010, about communities’ experiences in losing or protecting their watersheds. And she is traveling extensively throughout the world, from India and Cambodia to Greenland, to learn how water influences people’s lives. She expects to create multimedia Web campaigns throughout her travels and to produce documentaries for film festivals. In the meantime, Cousteau has advice about environmentalism as well as how people can personally save water at www.alexandracousteau.com.

Cousteau, 32 years old, is no stranger to environmental activism. Just this year she was named among National Geographic’s Emerging Explorers, and she was honored by the United Nations in 2007 as an Earth Trustee for her work in protecting the oceans. In 2000 she and her brother, Philippe, co-founded EarthEcho International,
a nonprofit organization that uses a variety of media and storytelling to connect audiences with environmental issues.

Note: This story was originally published with the title, "Alexandra Cousteau Wades In".