It is almost time for the “Inaugural Coastweeks Celebration”! The Living Coast Discover Center in Chula Vista will be celebrating magnificent coastal resources and thier local coastal wildlife through three weeks of fun-filled family activities, special speakers, hands-on art workshops and more - all highlighting the special places and species of their unique local coastline habitats.
I look forward to visiting with my kids, as we are very much due for a return. The Center is right off the 5 freeway, a bit south of the Coronado bridge. During our last visit we loved the up-and-close activities we had! We learned about the clapperrail bird, fed large sea turtles and explored at a “touch and feel” tidepool. We also enjoyed the shark tank, a variety of sea life, and all kinds of birds, like a bald eagle and a golden eagle. We learned about various conservation efforts, as well, and did some fun experiments that will forever be etched in our brains! We saw living proof ot the programs that help reintroduce animals to their natural habitats, and to break things up took advantage of short hikes, crafts and activities that make learning and exploring a most memorable time for the kids (and their parents)!
I have several friends who visited this past summer, and returned raving about the educational and affordable fun their kids had. The three weeks coming up will offer just as much excitment, so you are in for a real treat!
Coastal Cleanup at Sweetwater Marsh National Wildlife Refuge September 15th, 9am-12pm: This is their public cleanup day for the Sweetwater Marsh National Wildlife Refuge. As a part of the California Coastal Cleanup Day, they will be hosting one of 87 sites state-wide. Participants to the Sweetwater Marsh cleanup site will receive a free reusable tote bag with goodies inside (while supplies last), including a ticket to the Living Coast Discovery Center! Participants must be 10 years of age or older. To participate, preregistration is required at www.cleanupday.org. Choose the Sweetwater Marsh cleanup site. Direct link to the Sweetwater Marsh Cleanup.
Coastal Connections Weekly Lecture Series Thursdays During Coastweeks: Local experts on coastal issues and species will share with us each week! Space is limited, so preregistration is required.
Thursday September 20th -6:30pm – 8:30pm: Clapper Rail Comeback! with speaker Charles Gailband of Team Clapper Rail. The light-footed clapper rail is one of the most endangered coastal birds of southern California. However, conservation efforts and a reintroduction program conducted by Team Clapper Rail have helped this beautiful marsh bird double its population since the mid-1980s. Hear the wonderful story of recovery efforts for this rare and secretive coastal inhabitant.
Thursday September 27th- 6:30pm – 8:30pm: Ocean Friendly Gardens with Susan Krzywicki of the San Diego Surfrider Foundation. Urban runoff from gardens and hard surfaces is the #1 source of ocean pollution. But gardens can be beautiful, resourceful, wildlife-friendly AND prevent runoff. How? Attend this fun and interesting presentation to find out how to create a garden to help revive our watersheds and oceans!
Thursday October 4th - 6:30-8:30pm: Of Skimmers & Sea Turtles with Sheila Madrak and Chris Millow, UCSD research biologists. Local researchers share their discoveries of the local endangered green sea turtles and black skimmers of South San Diego Bay!
Members: FREE with preregistration
Non-members: $10 with preregistration
Coastal Connections Marine Debris Art Workshops Hands-on fun for the whole family! Travel to a different coastal destination each week with local artist and environmentalist, Teresa Espaniola, and create fun take home works of art using marine debris. Artistic ability not necessary! Attend all four sessions for the most fun. Themed door prizes will be awarded each week plus we’ll have snacks,games, festive music and getting an up-close and personal encounter with one of our Discovery Center animals. Appropriate for age 5 and older. Limited space available, so preregistration is suggested.
September 15th- Japan Become a master synthetic sushi chef! Create your own platter of decorative sushi from marine debris and recycled materials while tracking and learning about the tsunami debris and its impact on our coastal habitats.
September 22nd- Venice Italy Come to coastal Venice for a Masked Ball! Decorate your own mask out of recycled materials and marine debris in a carnival-like atmosphere with games for everyone. Learn about pollution in coastal Venice and how it impacts all of us – and the little things we can do at home.
September 29th- Australia Experience and learn about Australia’s coastal habitats as you create the Great Barrier Reef out of colorful marine debris and recycled materials! Take home your own creatively crafted starfish magnet! You will never look at trash the same way again.
October 6th- California
Gain a new perspective about our own California Coastal kelp forests and the animals that call it home. You will not believe the mini kelp forest that you will make using recycled plastic bottles and marine debris!
Members: Adults and Children – $17
Non-Members: Adults – $31; Children- $26 (Admission to the Center Included)
Click here to view the flyer!
Check out the COASTWEEKS Photo Gallery for art project samples.
About the Living Coast Discovery Center
The Chula Vista Nature Center opened on the Sweetwater Marsh National Wildlife Refuge in 1987. The zoo and aquarium was operated by the City of Chula Vista until late-2009, when it transitioned to a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. In April 2012, it was re-branded as the Living Coast Discovery Center in preparation for the center’s 25th anniversary. The Living Coast Discovery offers hands-on exhibits and up-close encounters with more than 350 plant and animal species native to Southern California coastal habitats, including endangered sea turtles, sting rays, leopard sharks, jellies, shorebirds, reptiles and a large collection of raptors such as hawks, falcons, owls, American bald eagle, golden eagle, and more. More information about the Living Coast Discovery Center is available at www.thelivingcoast.org or 619.409-5900.
Disclaimer: SDBM is paid for overseeing an online campaign for the Living Coast Discovery Center. Photos c/o the Living Coast Discovery Center.