Join us at the Living Coast Discovery Center for our inaugural Coastweeks Celebration!
We’ll be celebrating our magnificent coastal resources and our 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 our unique local coastline habitats.
Click here to view our flyer
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 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!
Sheila Madrak: Research of green turtles in San Diego Bay is a collaborative effort among researchers from San Diego State University, NOAA’s Southwest Fisheries Science Center, the Port of San Diego, and the U. S. Navy. Beginning in 2009, researchers from San Diego State University have been monitoring movements of green sea turtles in San Diego Bay. Sheila V. Madrak, a PhD student in the Joint Doctoral Program in Ecology through San Diego State University and University of California Davis, is studying how turtles move in San Diego Bay as related to water temperature. Sheila’s research is specifically centered on the closure of the South Bay Power Plant to determine if turtle movement is related to water temperature and how the closure of the plant might affect how green turtles utilize their habitat in San Diego Bay.
Chris Millow: Black Skimmers are long-lived seabirds that have nested in San Diego Bay since the 1970s, yet little is known about the overall status of the population. A major concern is that skimmers in southern California produce very few offspring surviving to adulthood. As strict fish-eaters located higher on the food chain, they may be at an increased risk of accumulating harmful environmental contaminants. Collaborative research between San Diego State University graduate student Chris Millow and the San Diego Bay NWR seeks to identify and measure the contaminants present in Black Skimmers, and how these contaminants may affect their reproduction.
Members: FREE with preregistration
Non-members: $10 with preregistration
Click here to register online or call (619) 409-5908.
Daily Coastal Themes!
The Living Coast Discovery Center is open daily from 10am-5pm. Enjoy a different, super-fun coastal theme each day of the week during Coastweeks! Dont forget to come and meet our baby octopus at 11:30 each day as well as a unique opportunity to see a baby swell shark up close (10 – 5 daily). All activities and events are included in the admission costs for the Center.
Shark and Ray Sundays
Sunday is the day for sharks and rays! Through interactive stations, hands on games, and an up-close and personal look at some adorable baby sharks, discover how these amazing animals have survived for over 400 million years. Make your trip extra special by signing up for a VIP animal encounter to get to feed our sharks and rays (limited space available and preregistration required). Sunday, September 30th- Join us at 1:00 for a public shark dissection!
The Sweetwater Marsh National Wildlife Refuge is a unique ecosystem that many animals, birds and plants call home. Join us for an opportunity to see the marsh from all angles by pre-registering for a unique kayaking trip or searching for crabs on our protected beaches (1:00pm). Learn about the marsh through a variety crafts, experiments, hands-on stations, animal encounters and onsite exhibits all while visiting with local wildlife.
Tidal Zone Tuesdays
Take a look beneath the surface! Many spineless wonders, also known as invertebrates, make their home along San Diego’s coasts. Come explore the wide range of life that exists in each of the tidal zones. Touch sea stars, urchins and snails, and other marine critters. Discover the most intelligent invertebrate, the octopus, and see if she can open the most challenging of toys to retrieve a special treat (1:00pm). Head to the shoreline for a plankton tow to see how most marine creatures begin life in this unique habitat.
Wednesday is water day! Chula Vista’s watershed includes more than 350,000 human residents plus our wildlife neighbors. Come learn how you can reduce your water footprint through small, easy changes that can make a big difference. Learn how to be a part of the solution while enjoying a variety of hands-on stations, an interactive local plant tour given by horticulturalist Mark Valen (2pm) and even create your own marine debris art to take home!
Did you know that the endangered Eastern Pacific green sea turtle makes its home right here in San Diego Bay? Watch the Center’s four sea turtles through our up-close viewing windows, and enjoy a variety of turtle crafts, turtle games and other hands-on stations. Make your trip extra special by signing up for a VIP animal encounter to get to feed our sea turtles! (limited space available and preregistration required).
Catch a glimpse of the awesome fish that make the waters of San Diego their home. Explore their diverse habitats and unique anatomy up-close through dissections, dress up, games and crafts! Don’t forget to grab your Seafood Watch card, or download the app, before leaving to be a powerful part of the solution towards healthier fish populations on our coast.
Shore Bird Saturdays
Get to know the beautiful birds that make the coastal California wetlands their home. Discover the endangered light-footed clapper rail and what the Discovery Center is doing to help this rare local bird. We’ll have bird games, bird stories and even the ability to sign up for a special shore bird feed (Limited space available)!
Early Bird Saturdays- Especially for Birders!
Have you ever wished you could access the refuge eariler in the day for bird-watching? Now is your chance! During COASTWEEKS we will be opening the refuge early every Saturday, Sept. 15-Oct. 6. Grab your binoculars and bird book and meet the shuttle in the parking lot. A shuttle will arrive on the half hour to pick up birders beginning at 7:00am and going until 9:00am. Note: The Discovery Center will not open until 10:00am, however the trails will be open for hiking and bird-watching.
Coastal Cleanup at Sweetwater Marsh National Wildlife Refuge
September 15th, 9am-12pm
Thank you to the 40 volunteers who came to help clean up over 2 miles of shoreline on the Sweetwater Marsh National Wildlife Refuge for the California Coastal Cleanup Day! Despite the 100+ temperatures, this amazing team filled an entire dumpter with trash, including a giant pile of irrigation drip-line that will now not harm our local coastal wildlife. Way to go, cleanup team!