Ambassadors of the Environment Bike the Coast

Santa Barbara, CA Having departed November 21st, 2009, fourteen staff members from the Catalina Island Ambassadors of the Environment (AOTE) program are cycling 750 miles in three weeks from San Francisco to San Diego, visiting schools, universities, businesses, community events, organic farms, and other public and private venues along the California coast. Their mission is to promote public awareness of sustainable issues; enrich the relationship between AOTE, its students, and their home communities; and to support environmental projects at home and at school, all inspired by the students’ participation in the AOTE programs.

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The riders will visit schools that participate in AOTE educational programming sponsored by Jean Michel-Cousteau’s Ocean Futures Society (OFS). The 5th Annual Sustainable Living Bicycle Tour will be passing through San Francisco, Santa Cruz, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, and San Diego, among other cities. The AOTE staff volunteer their time, demonstrating their commitment to the natural environment, sustainable communities, and use of responsible, renewable sources of energy; such as pedaling a bicycle!

A slide show from each school-visit and a blog on the Sustainable Living Bike tour web site
allow the riders to share photographs and highlights of the trip with everyone. Curriculum delivered at the schools and other events includes hands-on workshops on the following:
Creating a New Garden/Compost Area
Alternative Transportation
Protecting Our Coast
Greening Your School
Presentations are tailored to the needs of each school and community. 

The Sustainable Living Bike Tour will arrive in the Santa Barbara area on Wednesday, Dec 2nd and will spend all day Thursday Dec 3rd at La Colina Junior High, presenting “Protecting Our Coast” to all 180 8th graders in 6 separate presentations.

A “Care for Our Earth” grant from the Santa Barbara County Education Office and Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District is sponsoring the team’s visit on Friday, December 4th with The Carpinteria Family School K-5th grade students, and with the 5th graders of Canalino Elementary School. The naturalists will be conducting individual workshops for all 6 classes on watersheds, gardening and protecting our coast. Part of the team will also be at Crane Country Day School.

“I applaud the dedication and commitment of these fourteen young inspiring bike riders and naturalists. They are practicing what we preach: the need to move towards a more sustainable future. These bike riders are sharing their enthusiasm with thousands of students, inspiring them to be stewards of what is everyone’s inheritance—[a healthy, functioning California marine environment that is connected to global processes of the land, sea and atmosphere.” Jean-Michel Cousteau, president Ocean Futures Society

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The Catalina Island AOTE program (www.celp.net) is located on the West End of the island and hosts school groups on site for 3-5 days of programming. It was the first of several Ambassadors of the Environment programs around the world started by Jean-Michel Cousteau’s OFS, a 501(c)3 non profit. Through educational excursions into the surrounding ecosystems, AOTE aims to inspire students to live more gently on the planet and to become active members of their home communities. Other local and international AOTE programs are located in Pt. Bonita, Santa Barbara, Hawaii, French Polynesia, Cayman Islands, Brazil, France and Greece.

The mission of Ocean Futures Society 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.

For more information, visit www.oceanfutures.org
"Protect the ocean and you protect yourself"
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CONTACT INFORMATION:
Holly Lohuis
Education/Research Associate
Jean-Michel Cousteau
Ocean Futures Society
hlohuis@oceanfutures.org
(805) 899-8899 ext. 124