A day after officially rededicating Canterbury's marine studies building at the Cousteau Marine Studies center, students got a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to dive with Pierre-Yves Cousteau.
Friday, two dive boats filled with students and staff traveled with Cousteau five miles off the coast to the St. Pete Beach Reef. The artificial reef is made with M60 Army tanks and concrete culverts.
It was many of the students first time ever diving in the Gulf.
"For most of the kids, it was their first saltwater dive," said Canterbury Director of Marine Studies, Jenna Cummings.” So to have your first saltwater dive (be) with a Cousteau is amazing."
Pierre Cousteau, son of legendary diver Jacques Cousteau, flew from France to dive with students from Canterbury School of Florida’s SCUBA Venture Club.
Canterbury is also partnering with Cousteau Divers, which is a non-profit dedicated to the education, preservation and observation of marine life on this planet.
"We recently named Canterbury School the First Cousteau Divers partner school in the world," Cousteau said in an interview with Patch. "What we are bringing to them, is an opportunity to develop with us a lot of our program here in the U.S. That means getting the kids involved more than just learning but also in doing things for the ocean."
According to Cousteau Divers, it is a "participative science program makes you an active agent of the study and protection of the oceans."
As divers explore the waters of the world, Cousteau Divers asks participants to record their observations of marine life during their dive and then upload them to its website.
"They are going to protect the ocean more if they can appreciate it and experience and enjoy it," Cummings said.