Fabien Cousteau Resurfaces After 31 Days Underwater

07/03/2014 at 10:10 AM EDT

Fabien Cousteau Resurfaces After 31 Days Underwater
Fabien Cousteau
Lynne Sladky/AP
Fabien Cousteau says his 31-day underwater living experiment in the Florida Keys was a monumental success that used tools of which his famous ocean explorer grandfather could only dream.

Cousteau and a team of filmmakers and scientists dove June 1 to Aquarius Reef Base to study what effects climate change and pollution are having on a coral reef.

The crew started decompression Tuesday inside the pressurized lab, 63 feet below the ocean's surface off Key Largo. They resurfaced Wednesday and returned to the Aquarius command center in Islamorada.

The entire expedition was broadcast in real time online, and Cousteau held video chats with classrooms worldwide.



Cousteau says he was struck by the sunlight and fresh air when he emerged Wednesday morning, but he already missed his underwater home.

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