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Explorer Jacques Cousteau, who now spends his time searching...

BARNET, Vt. -- Explorer Jacques Cousteau, who now spends his time searching the ocean's depths, has pledged $13,500 to protect the small Vermont lake where he got his start many years ago.

The money, donated to the Connecticut River Watershed Council of Hanover, N.H., will be used to purchase seven acres along a small brook that feeds Harvey Lake.

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Oceanographer Cousteau learned to dive in Harvey Lake when he was 6 or 7 years old when his parents summered in Vermont, a spokesman for the Cousteau Society in Norfolk, Va., said Monday.

'He was pleased to do what he could' to help protect the lake of which he has fond memories, said Thomas Blanchard, general manager of the society.

Bob Linck, a spokesman for the watershed council, said his group wanted the land to guarantee that Jewett Brook would not be sold and developed for its hydroelectric potential.

Cousteau has pledged $13,500 over 12 years, and already has made one $1,000 payment, Linck said.

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