When was the last time you looked in wonder at the intricate architecture of a leaf, let your fingers explore the strange texture of a bit of kelp washed ashore, or happened upon an owl swooping for prey on its nightly hunt?
Your answer may lie way back in the archives of your childhood. The Ritz-Carlton is working not only to change that but also to ensure that younger generations, who can probably name more Snapchat filters than types of flora and fauna, likewise experience nature in a meaningful, conscientious way. In conjunction with Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ambassadors of the Environment program — based on the four principles that everything is connected, everything runs on energy, there is no waste in nature, and biodiversity is good.
The latest property to benefit from this partnership is rather close to home for Cousteau, whose marine conservation organization, Ocean Futures Society, is headquartered in Santa Barbara. “I am very excited to have our newest Ambassadors program here at The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara in my backyard,” says Cousteau. “This region is among the richest and most interesting in the world, with amazing natural wonders. With our great team of naturalists, I am certain we will be able to give guests an amazing experience that both enriches and educates them.”
Here, guests of all ages can explore the natural environment of California’s Gaviota Coast under the tutelage of professionals trained by Cousteau and his chief scientist, Richard Murphy, Ph.D. Guests can engage in guided nature walks on land and on sand, both in daytime and at night. These special explorations, however, are just one facet of the diverse and engaging program. “There’s an entire menu of activities,” says Murphy.