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Future Connector: Robert F Kennedy Jr

July 9th, 2010
12:45 PM ET

Robert F Kennedy Junior comes from a long line of politically important figures in American politics and culture.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/06/14/kennedy.art.gettyimages.jpg
caption="Robert F Kennedy Jr is your Connector of the Day."]

The third child of Ethel and Robert Kennedy, Kennedy Jr is the nephew of former U.S. President John F Kennedy and former U.S. senator, Edward Kennedy.

While many figures in the Kennedy clan have reached the heights of political office in America, Kennedy Jr has expressed little interest in pursuing a political career.

Instead, the 56-year-old has focused his energy on developing a strong environmental law practice and pursuing a number of social causes.

However, that's not to say that Kennedy Jr's life has been without fault.

In 1983, Kennedy Jr was arrested for heroin possession and subsequently served two years under probation as well as completing 1,500 hours of community service.

In 2001, Kennedy Jr was also arrested for trespassing at a U.S. navy training facility in Puerto Rico, in which he was protesting its use of a section of the island.

However, it's Kennedy Jr's environmental efforts that he has made over the past two decades that he is best known by.

He is the founder and CEO of Waterkeepers, which is an organization that encourages the safe keeping and protection of water systems in the U.S.

Kennedy Jr has also written numerous books and articles on environmental issues and has even created his own bottled water company to raise funds for his organization.

This is your chance to send in your questions to Robert F Kennedy Jr.

Do you want to know what he thinks about the Gulf of Mexico oil spill? What is his opinion on the state of the oceans around the world? Maybe you want to know about his father?

Please leave your questions for Kennedy Jr below and be sure to include where you're writing from.

soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. JC Brotherhood

    Hi Bobby:
    I am a Park Commissioner in Nyack NY with a specific focus on Nyack's Marina.
    While it has been neglected by the Village for some time now, the current Board of trustees is coming to recognize it not as a moribund property but as an asset to benefit the public interest.
    Nyacks LWRP was filed by the Dept of State in 1992 and the Parks commison is currently using this document as a guide to renewing not simply the marina but combining both the Marina property and the Memorial Park property to the south.
    At issue is an upland dweller who holds a vestigial land grant to a tidal inlet dating back to 1890? which divide the two areas and has so far blocked efforts to connect the two or to fully utilize the inlet.
    My question is how does the "public Trust Doctrine" which you have spoken of before relate to grants of this sort? An easement is currently being appraised by the Village in anticipation of a possible eminent domain claim but I wonder if this is necessarily the way to go.
    What do you think?
    JC Brotherhood
    Millbrook class of '73 (almost)

    July 9, 2010 at 2:26 pm | Reply
  2. Keira


    I've noticed the various campaigns worldwide for clean, drinking water. I'd like to know why hasn't there been a bigger effort to use desalination to make sure everyone has clean drinking water everywhere? Is it lack of money or lack of knowledge/resources that prevents this?

    Another question (f I may), what is the status of the island of Vieques after the departure of the US Navy? Has the health situation there improved at all?


    NY (and Puerto Rico native)

    July 9, 2010 at 2:55 pm | Reply
  3. Jurgen R. Brul

    Hello Robert F Kennedy Junior and CNN friends,

    I would like an answer from Robert F Kennedy Junior on the following questions:
    – What should the Waterkeepers and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) do to STOP THE OIL LEAK and to CLEAN UP THE OIL IN AND AROUND THE GULF OF MEXICO and THE ATLANTIC OCEAN in order to KEEP HUMANITY HEALTHY?
    – What should the Waterkeepers and the United Nations Environment Programme do to STOP the BLOODY DOLPHIN KILLINGS in Japan, which have been stated in the Oscar movie “The Cove”?
    – What is your opinion on the way your family member Maria Kennedy Shriver, First Lady of California, is handling the Heroin, Cocaine and Marihuana use in the Dark side of the Music and Entertainment industries in the State of California?
    – What is your opinion on the way Barack Hussein Obama’s administration is handling Healthy and Clean National and International Water?
    – What can we expect from you in 2010?
    – How are you inspiring people all over the world to make our world a Better Healthier and Beautiful Place?

    I am awaiting Robert F Kennedy Junior’s replies.

    Jurgen R. Brul
    Hometown: Paramaribo
    Country: Suriname

    July 9, 2010 at 8:10 pm | Reply
  4. William Marlowe

    Why does the memory of opportunity of Robert F. Kennedy still speak to us, still inspire us to dare to hope today? Part of it is surely the time and his youth – the time of the generation he lived and the courage of youth that helped us all dare to hope for better. In a time when great leaders with principles that were truly worth dying for did just that, died for their ideals, Robert F. Kennedy stood above the fray and put himself out in front as one to shout, “We can do better and must.” In the case of Robert F. Kennedy, his humility is only equaled to that of his courage to be the single voice in a crowd of angry people to demand better with nonviolence in a sea of assassinations.
    His legacy lives on in some of our humble leaders today but they are fewer and farther between since days gone by when the likes of giants such as Robert F. Kennedy walked the stage of conscience but I am inspired to see that you, his son, have his courage and his inspired vision to stand up for what is right in the cause for clean water.

    I hope to be working in Washington D.C. soon and would like to know how I may help or join your organization in standing up for clean water not just in the U.S. but around the world.

    William Marlowe
    Writer & Photojournalist
    One can be humble and not wise but one cannot be wise and not humble.

    July 9, 2010 at 8:18 pm | Reply
  5. Kate

    Everyone is obviously concerned with the oil in the water off the Gulf, but in your opinion, how long will it take to fix the destruction to the animal and plant life?

    July 9, 2010 at 9:38 pm | Reply
  6. Paulina

    I'm writing from Mexico.

    My questions are this:

    – Instead of pursuing a political career, like your family is well known for, you've chosen a career of enviromental protection, where did you get the inspiration to choose such a motivating life career?

    – We're all well aware of the setbacks and personal problems you've had going on in your life, but have they in any way affected your judgement and will to carry on working and efforting to protect the environment?

    – What have you done to help the Gulf of Mexico oil spill situation clear up as fast and efficiently as possible?

    Thank you.

    July 10, 2010 at 3:06 am | Reply
  7. Nadine Michaels

    Hello Bobby!

    Thank you for speaking out on behalf of Americans and citizens around the world who want cleaner air, cleaner water, and a planet to enjoy. I love the work you're doing, especially with the RiverKeepers and the success you have had in cleaning up the Hudson River. I watched you debate Don Blankenship in West Virginia concerning the devastation of moutaintop removal mining. I know you are a Master Falconer and I wondered what other hobbies, interests, or holistic methods you have that help you unwind from all the tough work you do on a daily basis to keep our planet safe?

    God Bless You & Your Family,
    love, Nadine in Detroit

    July 10, 2010 at 3:29 am | Reply
  8. Thomas Mathew

    Being a Kennedy fan since I was a kid, it is pleasant to see you !

    July 10, 2010 at 4:46 pm | Reply
  9. lumbertruck

    My son recently asked me a very good question. If the generation of the 1960s was the first generation actively interested in what was then called ecology. . . what of this generation that is now in power and its responsibility for this string of oil spills?

    July 17, 2010 at 10:33 pm | Reply
  10. Kathleen Lombardo

    HI, I guess I am going to try this avenue in reaching you. I met you in Bradford, Pa and have been trying ever since to try to come hear your wonderful presentation again. I would love to bring the students in my Environmental Club.I have told them all about you and they can't figure out what is taking me so long to arrange this trip. I have searched online but all the posts seem to be afer the fact. I hope this gets to you. Thanks so much, Kathleen

    August 5, 2010 at 1:30 pm | Reply

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