Dorado Beach, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve to Partner with Jean-Michel Cousteau's Award-Winning Ambassadors of the Environment Program

July 2, 2012 (Santa Barbara, CA) – Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, an exclusive brand extension of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company L.L.C., and distinguished environmental diplomat Jean-Michel Cousteau have announced plans to create an environmental education and eco-adventure program using Dorado Beach as the natural classroom, introducing travelers to Puerto Rico’s extraordinary natural wonders and cultural heritage at the resort. The program at this location will debut this December 2012, when the highly anticipated first Ritz-Carlton Reserve in the Americas opens its doors to guests.

“We are thrilled and extremely honored to partner with this extraordinary property dedicated to environmental education, ecosystem sustainability and marine conservation. The launch of Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ambassadors of the Environment program will be a significant enhancement to the guest experience at the resort and demonstrates our longstanding commitment to our community and the environment,” said Alejandro Helbling, general manager, Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve. “Our aim is to provide guests with the opportunity to become advocates of protecting and preserving the environment for future generations by using our surroundings as a natural classroom. Dorado Beach offers the perfect backdrop for this celebrated environmental program with its fascinating Sardinera Bay, biologically diverse coral reefs, lush tropical forest environments, Taino culture and the rich Laurance Rockefeller legacy, the pioneer of the environmental preservation philosophy still embedded in the property’s footprint,” added Helbling.

Designed for adults, families, and children, participants in Ambassadors of the Environment can discover Puerto Rico’s natural wonders both on land and sea, including coral reefs, a diversity of birds, wetlands, and traditional Taino culture through exciting and memorable adventures and activities, such as snorkeling, kayaking, hiking and exploring an archaeological site directly on property. Also featured in the program is the historic Rockefeller Trail originally conceived by Laurance Rockefeller in the 1950s to create a walkable, open-air sanctuary through the resorts surroundings.

“As we embark on this new and exciting collaboration with Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, we will create custom-designed programs that incorporate the local community and Puerto Rico’s environmental and cultural heritage,” said Jean-Michel Cousteau.

At the helm of the program’s development is marine biologist and ardent environmentalist, Dr. Richard Murphy of Ocean Futures Society. “The Ambassadors of the Environment program is designed to share the wonders of the natural environment. We will focus on how a variety of species collectively create healthy and sustainable ecosystems. With these “lessons from nature” we explore how humans can create more sustainable communities for ourselves,” said Dr. Murphy. “It is through this lens that we explore the beautiful ecosystems around Dorado Beach. This “total immersion” will promote deep connections to other species and the natural world and through that immersion inspire and motivate guests and local participants to protect and conserve our natural heritage because what is good for nature is good for us,” he added.

Led by expert naturalists, the program’s epicenter is Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ambassadors of the Environment Center, a 5,000 square-foot facility surrounded by living examples of Dorado Beach’s geological setting. Integrating the program’s environmentally-conscious philosophy into the building’s infrastructure, the center is designed to adhere to the highest standards of the U.S. Green Building Council, aspiring to achieve LEED® Platinum Level Certification with a variety of sustainable efforts including regionally-sourced materials, renewable energy, organic and sustainable finishes and furniture, and monitoring systems to reduce the buildings overall energy usage.

About Ocean Futures Society
Ocean Futures Society (OFS) is a non-profit 501(c) (3) 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, California, with offices in Paris, France; Lucca, Italy; and São Paulo, Brazil. For more information, visit www.oceanfutures.org.

About Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve
The Ritz-Carlton Reserve brand extension features signature, one-of-a-kind boutique resorts located in choice settings around the world, each with a distinctive personality and sense of place. Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, is the second in this exclusive portfolio worldwide, joining Phulay Bay in Krabi, Southern Thailand. Situated on three miles of Caribbean coastline with 1,400 acres of natural beauty, privacy and luxury on the former Laurance Rockefeller estate, Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve includes 100 guestrooms and 14 one-bedroom suites, all directly on the beach, plus Su Casa, the original plantation hacienda renovated back to its original 1920s style to serve as a five-bedroom beachfront VIP villa. Dorado Beach also features a five-acre, ‘botanical’ spa; a restaurant by award winning chef José Andrés; and an eco-educational Ambassadors of the Environment program by Jean-Michel Cousteau.

For additional information about this press release contact:

Verona A. Carter, APR
Area Director of Public Relations, Caribbean & Mexico
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C.
2700 Tigertail Avenue
Miami, Florida 33133
Direct: (786) 470-3434
Main: (786) 470-3400
Fax: (786) 470-3409
verona.carter@ritzcarlton.com