The Living Coast Discovery WAS set to close to the public on October 28, 2013
After an outpouring of love and support from the community, the Living Coast has received numerous donations from individuals, foundations and companies making it possible to, not only meet our goal, but exceed!
We would like to thank everyone for their support and compassion during this challenging time. It is because of wonderful people like you, in these great cities of San Diego and Chula Vista, that we will be able to continue to inspire children of all ages to care for the natural world around us all.
We would like to continue with the forward momentum so if you have a fundraising that needs our support, please let us know! We would love to hear from you: email@example.com
-Watch our most recent news spot by clicking here-
Please help us meet our goal! You can be that ‘Knight in Shining Armor’ for so many deserving kids and families that know how important the Living Coast Discovery Center is to our future generations and the natural world around us all.
Why are you closing?
-Click here to read our Press Release-
To put it as simply as possible…we’re out of time. Though we’ve started making headway in new programming and establishing new collaborative community relationships- we’re simply out of funds to allow us to continue to wait for additional grants and supporters to come through. It would be fiscally irresponsible of us to continue operations without knowing when we will see immediate financial relief.
Yet we have SUCH a bright future ahead of us! With over $750k in pending grants and collaborations, we need just a little help right now to get us there. It is our hope that the community helps support us through this tough time.
If we are unable to close the funding gap, we will be closing to the public on Monday, October 28th to minimize as many costs as possible In the meantime, we will systematically liquidate our assets, find new homes for our animals, and fulfill educational responsibilities. One of our largest costs is running the public shuttle that brings guests to the center.
Guests are not allowed to drive on the levy road for two reasons. 1) The property is a Wildlife Refuge, maintained by USF&WS,and the general public is not allowed to drive on the levy road. 2) We do not have adequate parking on our footprint at the Center for visitors.
How can I help?
Thank you, so much, for your continued interest and support. We wouldn’t have made it these past 4 years without you!
There are many things that you can do to help keep our doors open:
- Spread the word. This is the easiest way that you help save the Living Coast.
- Just tell your friends, coworkers, neighbors, and classmates about us and our current situation. Share stories about your experiences here. You might not be able to donate anything, but maybe they can.
- Contact your local media, talk radio, and music radio stations to request a story, news coverage, or interview regarding.
Click here for Emails and an example letter
- S.O.S.Membership Donations! (Save Our Sealife!)
Give us a fighting chance. Take ownership of this place that we all love: renew your membership early or encourage others to join the LCDC family! We are planning to raise enough to keep our doors open – and then you’ll have another year of adorable sea turtles, swimming sharks, curious burrowing owls, handsome hawks, and stunning views of the wetlands and San Diego Bay.
- Support a Fundraiser or start your own!
- Check out the fundraisers created by the community to help by clicking here!
- Create a Crazy/Challenge fundraiser! Sherry’s going to swim the coast of San Diego…in a mermaid tail…if enough is raised to keep us going. www.crowdrise.com/swimsandiego
- Your child’s class can host a car wash or a pizza ‘kick-back’ night at a local restaurant.
- Read-a-thons, Hike-a-thons, office bingo, use your imagine and make it fun! Let us know if there’s anything we can do to help.
- Corporate Memberships/Sponsorships
Talk to your boss or your boss’s boss about a Corporate Membership. They get a great tax write-off for supporting an educational non-profit and the environment, your family and your coworkers will get in free year-round!
- Click here for Corporate Membership Options
- Contact Sophia@thelivingcoast.org with any questions
- Know a philanthropist looking to make a difference?
Pass on the word! Or email us their contact information and we’ll extend an invitation for them to come and visit/talk to us. Contact Sherry@thelivingcoast.org or Ben@thelivingcoast.org
- General Donations.
Every dollar really does make a big difference to our animals and our non-profit. One dollar: feeds a small owl a day, provides ½ the cost of our eagle’s meal, or provides one meal to one sea turtle. Regardless if we raise enough to keep our doors open, fund will still be needed to help relocation our animals to new homes. Everything helps.
Current amount raised as of 10/18/2013: $181,352
Amount needed: $200,000
% of goal reached: 91%
We have just one week to go! Let’s keep that ball rolling
We are working on finding good homes for all of them. The wellbeing of all of our animals is a top priority. All of our animals will be relocated/transferred to other organizations both locally and nationwide.
We love them too. And we are very heartbroken at the thought of no longer being here for people to come and learn about our native wildlife, ocean awareness, conservation, sustainability.
YES! Our CEO & Board have come up with a staged closing plan that would allow for us to reopen if funding is received by certain dates.
- Funding received by 10/27/13- The Living Coast Discovery Center will not have to close its doors for any period of time.
- Funding received by 11/16/13- The Living Coast will be able to reopen doors by 12/15/13.
- Funding received by 12/1/13- Halts relocation of animals. The Living Coast will be able to reopen doors in January 2014.
After 12/1/13 date, the process of transferring our animals will be irreversible and many of our assets will be in the process of liquidation.
A minimum of $200,000
Fundraising thru public, corporate sponsorships, and grants allow:
- $200K Per Year: “the band-aid fix”
- We will be able to remain open for at least 12 months with minimum staff on reduced hours until pending grants are awarded
- $250K to $500K Per Year: “a real solution”
- Allows for us to begin implementing the new strategic plan and hire staff necessary for growth (Director of Development and Marketing) and sustainable operations.
That is a great question! And we have a solution.
- Our new Strategic PlanMission and Vision will strategically guide the organization to sustainability. This new plan was developed by members of the community and key stakeholders (Port of San Diego, City of Chula Visa, USFWS, San Diego Tourism Authority, San Diego Zoo, Scripps Institute of Oceanography, local politicians, educators, etc). You may read our full strategic plan here: PDF
- Recruiting key staff members to implement the strategic plan: Director of Development & Marketing, Director of Collaborative Research, etc.
- Additional grants based on our new programming and broader scope via the strategic plan.
We’re always open to ideas. In fact, during the recent SWOT analysis, the community was surveyed and our new strategic plan reflects their comments, opinions, and suggestions! Unfortunately, we can no longer wait for the funding that would allow us to implement these new strategies.
- Applying for grants: We’ve been actively pursuing grants for over 4 years now. Many of them have come thru and have allowed for us to continue operations on a very tight budget- but unfortunately, grant funding timelines vary and can sometimes take up to 6 months or more to be awarded. We just do not have the time to wait any longer as we need to be a fiscally responsible organization.
- Cutting back on staff and operations: All general staff has been on a 10% reduced salary/furlough while Management has been on a 20% reduced salary/furlough since October 2012. This doesn’t mean that the workload decreased by 10 or 20%- just that staff has had to make sacrifices to cover all responsibilities. All of our staff members wear multiple hats and perform multiple jobs instead of hiring additional support in order to minimize expenses. Cutting back on staffing any further would require closing.
- Asking for additional funds from stakeholders: We’ve asked, but unfortunately, it’s a tough economy for everyone involved and we have been told that additional sustainable funding is not available at this time.
Our annual food and wine event (From Farm to Bay) generated excellent publicity and community awareness for our cause throughout the region and we attracted more new guests to the center than ever before. While wonderful from a PR and media perspective and an important revenue stream at a critical time for the center, the funds raised at this one event were simply not enough to help the center achieve long-term financial sustainability.
It’s also important to recognize that these types of events are quite expensive to put on. Even with our chefs and other partners donating the food and beverages, there are still major expenses associated with securing all of the party rentals, equipment, lighting, entertainment, ice, serving-wear and other supplies, etc. The funds raised that evening were helpful in sustaining the center a little longer, but ultimately they were not enough to alleviate the center’s ongoing financial challenges. For that, major new sources of community support are needed.
Both CVESD and Mueller Charter School have contracts that expire during their winter breaks. We will remain open for these schools, with animals on site, until those contracts expire so that the current student programs will not be affected.
We will be able to honor all school fieldtrips booked through the month of December 2013.
We love our volunteers. In fact, they’re a big reason why we have been able to continue operations for as long as we have!
Our volunteers will be able to continue to work with us, and gain community hours on-site, through December, 2013.
Questions about volunteering? Tina@thelivingcoast.org
Our Membership team has developed several options for our members in hopes to minimize the impact that this may have on your family.
- You may request a refund for a prorated amount based on the amount originally paid for membership. In order to do this, please visit our membership page to fill out the appropriate form. Requests must be post marked by November 30th
- If you would like to keep your membership with our hopes that we are able to raise enough funds to support operations, we will happily add 3 months to your current membership to cover any time that our doors where closed. No response or requested needed. Thank you for your continued support!
Any outstanding membership funds remaining after November 30th will be used for our animal’s relocation efforts. We want to make sure they get the best new home possible!
Questions about memberships? Sophia@thelivingcoast.org
- 10/28/13-11/15/13: Center closed to the public, staff layoffs begin
- 11/16/13: Animals on the Bay Day Harvest Festival, free community day sponsored by the Port of San Diego. Last opportunity for the public to visit the Living Coast.
- 12/8/13-12/24/13: Animal relocation begins, assets liquidated, final staff layoffs
Unfortunately, not without a prior arrangement with U.S.F.&W Service. This property is a protected Wildlife Reserve and a sensitive habitat: traffic must be minimized for the benefit of the many animals and plants (several endangered and threatened species) that reside on the marsh.
The Living Coast complimentary shuttle is currently the only way that the general public may access the trails and site on the San Diego Bay Wildlife Refuge at Sweetwater Marsh.
The Living Coast Discovery Center’s Board of Directors will remain active until the end of the fiscal year, looking for other opportunities that would allow for the Living Coast to continue as an organization.
Our goal is to pay all creditors to the fullest extent that we are able. We are closing to the public on October 28th in a specific effort to minimize our daily costs so that we can fulfill our financial obligations.