NEW YORK -- Cowabunga, dudes! The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are New York City's official family ambassadors for 2016.

The city's tourism agency NYC & Company announced that the sewer-dwelling reptiles will star in ads to encourage families to explore the city.

Agency CEO Fred Dixon says the turtles are "the perfect guides to help families discover the vibrancy and excitement throughout the five boroughs."

The family ambassador program started in 2009 to promote New York City as a family-friendly destination.

Last year's ambassador was Dora the Explorer, who succeeded Curious George.

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles -- Donatello, Michelangelo, Leonardo and Raphael -- started as crime-fighting 1980s comic book characters. Nickelodeon owns the rights to the turtles now.