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Philippe Cousteau’s EarthEcho International Partners with Discovery Education to Launch Water Planet Challenge

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Stephen Wakefield, Discovery Education

Bryan Hughes, EarthEcho International

– Web-based program provides resources for middle and high school-aged youth to design and implement service-learning projects –

– Impressive group of partners led by the Toyota USA Foundation developing, promoting and distributing Water Planet Challenge –

Silver Spring, Md. (Oct. 26, 2010) – EarthEcho International, a leading environmental education nonprofit, has partnered with Discovery Education to launch the Water Planet Challenge. An unprecedented national call-to-action, the Water Planet Challenge engages and empowers youth to bring about environmental change starting with water-focused projects at a local level. This web-based program provides interactive tools and resources for middle and high school-aged youth to design, create and implement service-learning projects that address environmental concerns in their communities, from water conservation to beachfront cleanups.

“We have a generation seeking resources and tools to take action and create a better future for the planet,” said Philippe Cousteau, Co-Founder and CEO, EarthEcho International. “EarthEcho International and its team of committed partners provide a solution to this challenge through the creation of the Water Planet Challenge, which literally puts the tools of change at the fingertips of youth across the country.”

Among the resources EarthEcho International and Discovery Education are providing at no cost to students, educators and community leaders at launch are:

  • Step-by-step action guides that walk students through a project from investigation to completion
  • Standards-aligned lesson plans that allow middle and high school teachers and students to explore the impact of local action in the context of the recent Gulf oil disaster
  • Video segments on a variety of environmental topics educators can seamlessly integrate into existing curriculum, as well as a link to Philippe Cousteau’s recent webinar on his experiences in the Gulf of Mexico following the oil spill
  • In the coming months, additional action guides and lesson plans on other water-related environmental issues and additional video clips will be added to further support the Water Planet Challenge.

    “Philippe has long been a proponent of both environmental change and the use of digital content and educational technologies to encourage student engagement in environmental and sustainability issues,” said Mary Rollins, Discovery Education Vice President of Education Partnerships. “Discovery Education is proud to partner with Philippe and EarthEcho International to encourage youth to engage in these issues that are so important to our future.”

    Discovery Education is the leading provider of high-quality curriculum-based digital content and professional development resources whose services are available in more than half of U.S. schools. For more information, visit

    EarthEcho has assembled an impressive group of partners to develop, promote and distribute the Water Planet Challenge including: Toyota USA Foundation, CBK Associates, Free Spirit Publishing, National Education Association Foundation, Participant Media and the Smithsonian Ocean Portal. Please visit for a full list of partner organizations. Preliminary funding for the Water Planet Challenge has been provided by the Toyota USA Foundation, Participant Media, Campbell Foundation, Code Blue Foundation, and Maesa Home.For more information about EarthEcho International, visit

    “The Toyota USA Foundation is proud to support EarthEcho International as it engages and empowers youth across the nation to find innovative ways to reduce our collective environmental footprint,” said Pat Pienda, Toyota`s Group Vice President of National Philanthropy and the Toyota USA Foundation.

    About EarthEcho International
    EarthEcho International is a leading environmental nonprofit committed to youth engagement, action, and leadership through education. EarthEcho helps young people everywhere understand the critical role we play in the future of the planet through the one thing that connects us all – water. EarthEcho International is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization founded by siblings Philippe and Alexandra Cousteau in honor of their father Philippe Cousteau Sr., son of the legendary explorer Jacques Yves Cousteau. For more information about EarthEcho International, visit

    About the Toyota USA Foundation
    The Toyota USA Foundation is a $100 million charitable endowment created to support education programs serving kindergarten through 12th grade students and their teachers in the United States, with an emphasis on mathematics, science and environmental science. For additional information about the Toyota USA Foundation, visit

    About Discovery Education
    Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) revolutionized television with Discovery Channel and is now transforming classrooms through Discovery Education. Powered by the number one nonfiction media company in the world, Discovery Education combines scientifically proven, standards-based digital media and a dynamic user community in order to empower teachers to improve student achievement. Already, more than half of all U.S. schools access Discovery Education digital services. Explore the future of education at