Hampton, N.H. — With the support of sponsor Wheelabrator Technologies, third-generation ocean explorer Fabien Cousteau launched Mission 31, a 31-day long research mission in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary aboard Aquarius, the only underwater marine habitat and lab in the world. The partnership is part of Cousteau’s participation in the 20th annual Wheelabrator Symposium for Environment and Education, the company’s annual youth eco-summit, at which Cousteau shared his plans for the pioneering dive.
At Wheelabrator’s May Symposium, 150 future environmental leaders from 15 middle schools across Florida, New England and the Mid-Atlantic presented sustainability projects to a panel of educators and environmentalists following their work with employee volunteers throughout the school year. Inspired by Mission 31, the Wheelabrator Symposium theme of “Connecting to the Oceans” encouraged students to link the quality of their local environment to the health of the seas. Cousteau served as a panelist and keynote guest speaker at the Symposium’s 20th anniversary celebration.
“Protecting the environment and promoting sustainable practices in our local communities are integral to our corporate social responsibility efforts,” said Mark Weidman, president of renewable energy provider Wheelabrator Technologies. “We share Fabien’s passion for ocean conservation and are excited to be a part of this landmark endeavor. He’s a remarkable environmental ambassador and has been an inspiration to all the students involved in our Symposium.”
Students who participated in the Symposium will be able to follow Cousteau and his team during Mission 31 through Skype in the Classroom, the global education partner for Mission 31. Several schools will hold Skype sessions with Cousteau to learn about his progress and findings.
“I was truly inspired by the imaginative work students engaged in Wheelabrator’s 20th annual Symposium completed to ‘Connect to the Oceans’ and combat oceanic issues. I will be thinking of their innovative projects during my Mission 31 journey,” said Cousteau. “Our partnership with Wheelabrator is especially timely since the overarching theme for Mission 31 is the human-ocean connection within the lens of exploration and discovery. It is our hope that through this experience Wheelabrator Symposium students are encouraged to continue their service as environmental stewards in their local communities.”
Three main topics will be highlighted throughout Cousteau’s Mission 31: climate change and the related challenges of ocean acidification; ocean pollution with an emphasis on the effects of plastics; and overconsumption of resources with specific focus on the decline of biodiversity.
For more information about Mission 31, visit www.mission-31.com.
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A wholly owned subsidiary of Waste Management, Wheelabrator Technologies Inc. is a leader in the safe and environmentally sound conversion of municipal solid waste and other renewable waste fuels into clean energy. Wheelabrator owns or operates 17 waste-to-energy facilities that provide safe waste disposal for towns and cities across the U.S. Wheelabrator also operates four independent power plants designed to generate electricity using an assortment of fuels, including waste wood, waste coal, and natural gas. In addition to producing electricity, some of these facilities also produce steam sold to nearby government and commercial establishments. Wheelabrator’s 21 facilities have a combined electric generating capacity of 853 megawatts, enough energy to power more than 900,000 homes. To learn more, visit www.wheelabratortechnologies.com. Tweet @WM_WTI.
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