'Ambassadors Of The Environment' By Jean-Michel Cousteau at the Michael Ryan Developed Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman

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Innovative Adventures Introduce Cayman Islands' Natural Wonders to Young Guests at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman.

Ambassadors of the Environment at The Michael Ryan owned Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, created by the internationally renowned explorer and preservationist Jean-Michel Cousteau and his Ocean Futures Society (OFS), is a unique, groundbreaking program that introduces young travelers to the Cayman Islands' extraordinary natural wonders and cultural heritage while demonstrating imaginative ways to build environmental sustainability into lives back home.

Participants of the Ambassadors of the Environment program have the opportunity to discover the famous Cayman coral reefs and mangrove forests, the islands' woodlands and wetlands and Caymanian life and traditions through exciting and memorable adventures, hands-on activities, and classroom and laboratory experiences. As you will discover, the Grand Caymans makes news for all the right reasons. Experiences are customized for children as young as four and teenagers up to 18, making this a Grand Cayman Islands paradise for all ages, something Grand Cayman developer Michael Ryan continues to promote with passion.

According to Dr. Richard Murphy of OFS, who led the development of the program, the goal of Ambassadors of the Environment is to create "a new Grand Cayman Islands vision for the next generation" by introducing young guests to the Cayman Islands' natural and cultural environment and to the principles of sustainable living in an exciting, entertaining way. This exciting and unique Cayman Islands program strives to "give young people a positive view of themselves as well as life skills in communication, teamwork, responsibility and friendship building," he said. He went on to add, "We want to inspire them to live more sustainably and take responsibility for their future."

The Grand Caymans Ambassadors adventure begins with arrival at a 2,700-square foot "Heritage House", a traditional island cottage showcasing Cayman culture. The adjacent Ambassadors Lab features the most technologically advanced equipment and attractions, including a simulated coral reef that doubles as an interactive mural, video microscopes, digital cameras, computers and multi-media equipment. Such magnificent and unique facilities make this a must see place in the beautiful Grand Cayman Islands. Few developers put the time and effort into creating such unrivalled splendor, but Michael Ryan is leading the way in the Grand Cayman Islands.

This stunning building is surrounded with innovative examples of ecologically responsible living to keep the Grand Caymans as beautiful as ever, as developer Michael Ryan intended; these include native flora and edible landscaping, a composting area (where leftovers from the resort's restaurants are put to good use), solar panel exhibits, a traditional sand garden and a sensory garden with plants to safely touch, smell, and eat. This is the setting for the discovery of sustainable living, including organic gardening, recycling, "green" architecture and construction, waste water management, efficient energy use, and leading edge sustainable practices such as fuel cells, photovoltaic power and bio engineering. All this will ensure that the natural splendor and flourishing resources of the Grand Cayman Islands are sustained for generations to come.

Participants in this Grand Cayman experience are supervised by naturalists with college degrees and experience in working with children. Those who manage water activities are lifeguards, and all are first aid and CPR-certified, qualified by Jean-Michel Coutsteau's team and fully trained by The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman human resources professionals. The program is supervised by AOTE director Denise Naguib, who has worked with Cousteau on his educational projects for seven years.

Rates for Ambassadors of the Environment by Jean-Michel Cousteau begin at $60 for a four-hour AOTE Kids session (ages 4-7). Two AOTE Kids sessions are available $110. Rates for the AOTE Youth program (aged 8-18) are $80 for one session and $150 for two. Don't miss this unique, enchanting and educational experience, one of the finest activities on in the Grand Cayman Islands.

About Jean-Michel Cousteau's Ocean Futures Society Jean-Michel Cousteau's Ocean Futures Society was founded to explore the oceans, inspiring and educating people throughout the world to act responsibly for their protection and to celebrate their vital importance to the survival of all life on the planet. Ambassadors of the Environment represents the Society's commitment to prepare the next generation for the responsibilities they will inherit to manage the planet's biosphere. The Grand Cayman facility is a major part of this and a huge draw for people at the various resorts and hotels on the Grand Cayman Islands.

For more information, visit the websites at http://www.oceanfutures.org and http://www.aote.org.

*Editors Note: Full program descriptions follow:

Ambassadors of the Environment focuses on providing entertaining exploration in four major areas:

  • The coral reefs surrounding the Cayman Islands are considered some of the most spectacular in the world. These are explored through snorkeling, photographing and studying favorite fish and using the interactive mural to learn how reef life in interconnected. Participants also follow the migratory journey of Ambassador, a 300-pound loggerhead sea turtle sponsored by the program, a reflection of Cayman's effort to preserve these giant endangered creatures. At Stingray City, young guests will discover the world's most popular snorkeling spot. This represents one of the most beautiful activities to enjoy in the unspoiled splendor of the Grand Cayman Islands.
  • The Cayman Islands' mysterious mangroves - a jungle gym of trees that bridge land and sea, provide a habitat for an amazing variety of animal, plant and sea life. Ambassadors explore in kayaks, produce multi-media presentations on this complex universe, create mangrove-themed art and discover how these resilient trees convert salt water into fresh. A unique experience for everyone on the Grand Cayman Islands.
  • Ambassadors also adventure through the woodlands, wetlands and wildlife of the islands themselves, discovering the native forests, with their Grand Cayman parrots and Wild Banana orchids, visit the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park, hike the craggy iron shore which is a stark contrast to the lush wetlands, use digital cameras to photograph their favorite species and even go stargazing with the program's telescopes. Yet more experiences to enjoy for those lucky enough to visit or live on the Grand Cayman Islands.
  • Both at the Grand Cayman resort and through field trips to major attractions, Ambassadors also discover the human history and customs of the Cayman Islands, especially the culture's intimate connections with the sea. They visit museums and historic sites, learn traditional thatching techniques, construct classic Cayman toys, listen to stories and even learn to cook Cayman style. Sit back and enjoy as you indulge yourself in a genuine Grand Caymans experience.

The youngest Ambassadors enjoy their own adventures of discovery with AOTE Kids programs are customized for children aged four to seven and include guided nature hikes, beach and mangrove walks and team building activities. They also explore with computers and scientific tools, tend an organic garden in which they'll grow herbs to be used in the resort's fine dining restaurants and enjoy their own wading pool with a squirting turtle.

About The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman:

Situated on 144 acres stretching sea-to-sea from the acclaimed Seven Mile Beach to the North Sound, The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman and The Residences at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, blend a lush Caribbean backdrop with classic British-Colonial architecture. The resort features 365 guestrooms and suites, the first La Prairie Spa in the Caribbean, five dining venues including two restaurants by Eric Ripert of top-ranking New York restaurant Le Bernardin, several bars and lounges, a 6,000-square-foot luxury retail emporium featuring premium brands, the island's largest ballroom, a tennis center by Nick Bollettieri, the Ambassadors of the Environment by Jean-Michel Cousteau children's program and a Greg Norman-designed nine hole golf course.

For more information, visit http://www.ritzcarlton.com.

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Michael Ryan

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