The tides may change in St. Pete’s favor if Pierre-Yves Cousteau, son of ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau, decides to choose the area for his company’s U.S. headquarters.
Cousteau recently visited the St. Pete area scouting out possible locations for his organization. He was in town for four days in November and met with several key players, including business leaders, city council members and other divers.
Dr. Peter Betzer, president and CEO of the St. Petersburg Downtown Partnership
and professor at USF’s College of Marine Sciences
persuaded Cousteau to visit the area after meeting him in Spain. Betzer showed Cousteau around USF St. Petersburg and the Tampa Bay region.
“He was fascinated with our technical capability and our major marine science complex,” Betzer says.
Cousteau founded the nonprofit Cousteau Divers
in 2010. The organization works to conserve and protect the oceans, while offering divers an online community through its website. The organization’s mission statement reads, “By uniting a community of divers who are concerned about the marine environment, Cousteau Divers bring the legacy of Jacques-Yves Cousteau to life, making each diver an agent of the study and conservation of the aquatic realm. ”
Through his website, Cousteau encourages divers to upload photos and videos of their diving excursions to keep a real-time record of the ocean conditions.
Betzer says Cousteau’s decision on whether he will open his headquarters here could come soon.
“He’s coming back in January,” Betzer says. “After meeting with some key people during his next trip he should be in a position to say this is where I want to set up shop. It would be so exciting for all of us in the community.''
Writer: Kimberly Patterson
Source: Peter Betzer, St. Petersburg Downtown Partnership