Marco Island Named one of 100 Places That Will Change Your Child's Life - 10,000 Islands Dolphin Project Only Florida Experience Featured in National Geographic Book

Marco Island is the only Florida destination featured in an new National Geographic book, "100 Places That Can Change Your Child's Life: From Your Backyard to the Ends of the Earth," to be released on February 5, 2013. In the book, author Keith Bellows showcases the 10,000 Islands Dolphin Project as the premier excursion that best highlights the destination, its culture and people while also providing an experience that will enrich the life of a child.

MARCO ISLAND NAMED ONE OF 100 PLACES THAT CAN CHANGE YOUR CHILD’S LIFE

10,000 Islands Dolphin Project only Florida experience featured in National Geographic book

MARCO ISLAND, FLA., February 4, 2013 – Marco Island is the only Florida destination featured in a new National Geographic book, "100 Places That Can Change Your Child’s Life: From Your Backyard to the Ends of the Earth," to be released on February 5, 2013. In the book, author Keith Bellows showcases the 10,000 Islands Dolphin Project as the premier excursion that best highlights the destination, its culture and people while also providing an experience that will enrich the life of a child.

"The world is the greatest classroom we have," writes Bellows, editor-in-chief of National Geographic Traveler magazine and father of three, in his introduction. "I'm convinced that any parent willing to give the gift of travel offers the gift that keeps on giving. Children who learn to travel will travel to learn. And they will do it all their lives."

From the treetops of Costa Rica to the Grand Canyon to Loch Ness, "100 Places That Can Change Your Child's Life" explores the world, plumbing the heart of each special place and presenting it through a kid's eyes. Each chapter features one unforgettable trip designed to leave a lasting impression on any child. Divided by region, the book looks at exciting travel locations for children in the United States/Canada; Caribbean/Mexico/South America; Europe; Africa/Middle East; Asia; and Oceania/Antarctica.

"It is a distinct honor to be featured as one of the top travel experiences for children, not just in Florida but around the world," said Capt. Chris Desmond, founder and director, 10,000 Islands Dolphin Project. "Our goal is to provide an eco-tour that is both fun and educational for kids and adults alike, and this recognition is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the entire Dolphin Project team."

The 10,000 Islands Dolphin Project is the only ongoing study of wild dolphins in Southwest Florida and the only one in the United States that engages and is supported by the general public. For more than seven years, the Project has identified, catalogued and studied over 300 resident bottlenose dolphins.

The 10,000 Islands Dolphin Project welcomes public participation. Guests who buy tickets to cruise twice daily alongside dolphin researchers aboard the Dolphin Explorer boat become citizen scientists through onboard involvement in dolphin survey activities, and support the project financially with their ticket purchase. Children participate alongside researchers to complete the "Dolphin Challenge" and assist with photo identification, behavior evaluation and more. Visitors may reserve passage online in advance of their visit by logging on to www.zerve.com/DolphinTours.

In addition to twice-daily public cruises, the 10,000 Islands Dolphin Project also offers an elementary educational curriculum highlighted by live video reports from the boat.

For more information about Florida's Paradise Coast - Naples, Marco Island and the western portion of the Everglades - or to schedule a trip, visit www.paradisecoast.com.

About National Geographic Books

National Geographic Books is a global publisher of 125 new books annually in Adult and Children's combined, as well as a publisher of digital content and services with more than 50 partners who translate our books.

The National Geographic Society is one of the world’s largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations. Founded in 1888 to "increase and diffuse geographic knowledge," the Society's mission is to inspire people to care about the planet. It reaches more than 400 million people worldwide each month through its official journal, National Geographic, and other magazines; National Geographic Channel; television documentaries; music; radio; films; books; DVDs; maps; school publishing programs; live events; interactive media; merchandise; and travel programs. For more information on National Geographic Books, visit facebook.com/NatGeoBooks and nationalgeographic.com/books.

About Florida's Paradise Coast

Whether travelers are looking for a romantic escape or family getaway, Florida’s Paradise Coast - Naples, Marco Island and the western portion of the Everglades - has an array of vacation options year-round. With more than 30 miles of soft, white sand beaches, a thriving arts and culture scene, distinctive dining and the best of outdoor adventure, the Paradise Coast is truly a destination with it all. Located just two hours from Miami, four hours from Orlando and three hours from Tampa, the Paradise Coast is easily accessible from some of Florida's largest cities. Travelers outside of the Sunshine State can fly into Southwest Florida International Airport, which provides nonstop service to 45 destinations (40 domestic and five international) on 21 air carriers.

For more information about the Paradise Coast, call 800-688-3600 or visit www.ParadiseCoast.com. Follow the destination on Twitter @ParadiseCoast and on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/TheParadiseCoast.

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