Friends Partners With Explorer Cousteau at Clark Park

Philippe Cousteau Jr., explorer, environmental advocate, and the grandson of Jacques-Yves Cousteau, visited Chicago Tuesday September 18, 2018 to help some 300 Chicago students learn more about water quality, using the Chicago River as a test site.

The event at Clark Park, co-sponsored by Friends of the Chicago River and Cousteau’s non-profit educational organization EarthEcho International, was part of World Water Monitoring Day.

Friends of the Chicago River’s Chicago River Schools Network reaches thousands of students and teachers annually in an effort to expose young people to the Chicago River system and foster stewardship for the waterway.

Discover How Your School Can Take Part in the Chicago River Schools Network

Cousteau told the students from Lane Tech, Chicago City Day School and Northeastern Illinois University, “Demand that the water we drink, which is a fundamental right we all have, is healthy and nourishing. Demand a cleaner, healthier world.”

Margaret Frisbie, executive director of the Friends of the Chicago River, noted that the organization has been “at the forefront of the river’s recovery and we have made a tremendous difference over the last 39 years, but we know we have so much more to do.”

“Students are such an important part of the environmental movement. And by working with you through our Chicago River Schools Network and partners such as Earth Echo International, we can make real progress ,” Frisbie said.

Friends Executive Director Margaret Frisbie is interviewed by WBEZ reporter Lauren Frost.

Cousteau, Friends of the Chicago River staff, and volunteers from Xylem Watermark worked alongside local educators and their students on water testing projects at the park.

Be a Friend: Here's How You Can Join In the Effort To Protect the Chicago River System

Students from Chicago Day School got up close and personal with the Chicago River inhabitants.

Inspired by the legacy of his grandfather of Jacques Cousteau, Philippe Cousteau Jr. is a multi-Emmy-Nominated TV host and producer as well as an author, speaker, and social entrepreneur. He and his wife Ashlan are the stars of The Travel Channel series Caribbean Pirate Treasure.  In addition, Philippe is the host and executive producer of the multi-Emmy nominated series Awesome Planet, syndicated on Fox and Hulu. More information about World Water Monitoring Day is at

Founded in 1979, Friends of the Chicago River is an award-winning nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve and protect the Chicago River for people, plants, and animals. With over 6,000 members, volunteers, and online advocates, Friends works to make the river greener and more accessible, while building awareness of the benefits that a clean, healthy river can bring to communities across the watershed. Friends of the Chicago River is working to make the Chicago River one of the world’s greatest metropolitan rivers. For more information on Friends of the Chicago River, please visit our website:

"When I see the optimism and passion young people have for the environment, it gives me hope," said Cousteau.

Friends Director of Strategic Initiatives Joanne So Young Dill addresses the crowd.

The next generation of river protectors.

Philippe Cousteau Jr. and Sean Russell, EartchEcho Water Challenge manager.

Friends Executive Director Margaret Frisbie speaks on the history of the Chicago River.

Philippe Cousteau Jr. and Pete Leki (l), Julie Peterson (r) from Riverbank Neighbors and Chris Parson (c), local educators who share knowledge of the Chicago River with us.

Phillipe Cousteau Jr. works with students on a water project.