The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel, a Top Dana Point Hotel, Hosts Launch of Jean-Michael Cousteau's Ambassadors of the Environment Program

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Environmental and cultural education are top of mind for this leading Southern California beach resort

The launch of Ambassadors of the Environment demonstrates our strong commitment to our community and our planet

The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel, a top Dana Point hotel, introduces Jean-Michel Cousteau's Ambassadors of the Environment, which includes an environmental and cultural education center with excursions led by expert naturalists. Ambassadors of the Environment (AOTE) officially launches at the Southern California beach resort on Earth Day, April 22, 2010.

"The launch of Ambassadors of the Environment demonstrates our strong commitment to our community and our planet," said General Manager Bruce Brainerd. "The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel will be the first luxury resort in the continental United States to offer a comprehensive program that provides guests the opportunity to become advocates of protecting and preserving the planet for future generations through social responsibility and stewardship," he added.

Ambassadors of the Environment (AOTE) is designed to give guests of all ages at the Dana Point hotel the most fun and enriching experience possible in nature. This is achieved through excursions, games, multimedia presentations, discussions and activities. The natural wonders of Southern California make it a natural classroom and living laboratory where kids, families and adults can learn and grow during a fun, interactive activity.

Guests will develop a deep appreciation for the wonders of nature, an understanding of how coastal ecosystems (marine and terrestrial) function, the value of culture, why it is important to be environmentally aware and what each of us can do when we return home to help protect and preserve our planet. A fundamental theme running through the program is everything - land and sea, humans and nature, people and other people, and the past, present and future - is connected.

Each day will be dedicated to different aspects of the Southern California beach resort's natural wonders - kelp beds, the intertidal zone, the sandy beach, terrestrial ecology, native culture, sustainable living and becoming an Ambassador of the Environment.

"We want the guests of our Southern California beach resort to experience to continue even after they have departed the resort," said Brainerd. "As an Ambassador, every participant will take with them a piece of their experience to share with others. All Ambassadors of the Environment participants also become a member of Jean-Michel Cousteau's Ocean Futures Society and are encouraged to visit the Ambassadors of the Environment website for more information about his adventures. The website offers guidance for sustainable living and educational resources for Ambassadors and their families," added Brainerd.

According to Jean-Michel Cousteau, "We expect everyone, by learning more about our natural world and their places within it, to return to their communities as environmental stewards - ambassadors of the environment."

Ambassadors of the Environment is part of an agreement between The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C., and renowned diplomat for the environment, Jean-Michel Cousteau and his Ocean Futures Society to develop Ambassadors of the Environment programs in select Ritz-Carlton locations worldwide. The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel's program follows the successful launch of programs at The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua and The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman.

About Ocean Futures Society:
Ocean Futures Society (OFS) is a non-profit organization with the motto, "Protect the ocean and you protect yourself." The mission of OFS is to explore our global ocean, inspiring and educating people throughout the world to act responsibly for its protection, documenting the critical connection between humanity and nature, and celebrating the ocean's vital importance to the survival of all life on our planet. OFS is based in Santa Barbara, CA, USA with offices in Paris, France; Lucca, Italy; and São Paulo, Brazil. For more information, visit http://www.oceanfutures.org.

About The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel:
Situated atop a 150-foot bluff in picturesque Dana Point, California, The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel has catered to the world's most discriminating guests for more than 20 years. Whether guests are looking to get away for a second honeymoon, try surfing for the first time, or just relax on the beach, this seaside retreat boasts luxuriously appointed guestrooms, casual and upscale dining options, a recently renovated spa and access to several local golf courses. With nearly 400 rooms and oceanfront views, The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel offers guests refined elegance, a graceful atmosphere and impeccable oceanfront service.

Consistently ranked among the best resorts in the world, The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel offers a variety of recreational activities, award-winning dining and personalized service. For more information or reservations call 800/241-3333, the hotel directly at 949/240-2000, a travel professional or visit The Ritz-Carlton website at http://www.ritzcarlton.com.

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Deanne French
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