Mission Fed Grant Supports Teen Volunteer Program

Mission Fed Grant Supports Teen Volunteer Program

Check Presentation. Thanks, Mission Fed!

Mission Federal Credit Union recently made a generous grant of $2,000.00 to the Living Coast to support our Teen Volunteer Program. We believe in offering teens the opportunity to make a difference through volunteerism and so does Mission Fed! Their donation supports a 12-month Teen Volunteer Program, helping us to recruit, provide outreach and training, and coordinate 130 teen volunteers.

Teen Volunteers with snakes.

Teens get a unique educational benefit while volunteering at the Living Coast Discovery Center. While volunteering an average of 2-4 hours a week, teens are able to facilitate a myriad of special exhibits and have up-close and personal interaction with land and sea creatures of all kinds. They can work as Arts & Crafts Leaders, Education Assistants (at camps and field trips), with the Overnight Adventure Crew, as Guest Experience /Roving Interpreters, Guest Greeters, in the office practicing their clerical skills, and as Exhibit (Shark & Ray, Aviary, & Touch Tank) Monitors.

Teen volunteers at a recent event.

By volunteering on a regularly scheduled basis, the teens learn valuable life skills such as developing a disciplined work ethic, being consistent and reliable, how to work with others, prioritizing tasks, problem solving and exercising initiative.  Volunteer experience also helps teens obtain other employment and most important, they can list their exceptional volunteer experience on college and university applications.

Thanks to Mission Fed for supporting our Teen Volunteer Program.  If you’d like to volunteer with us, visit our Volunteer Page.

Member Events and Promotions

Three Reasons to Become a Living Coast Member

A Living Coast Membership is a great way to help us inspire the care and exploration of the living Earth by connecting people with coastal animals, plants and habitats. Memberships come with a free year of admission so they pay for themselves in a very short time. We also show our gratitude with special Member Events, like…

1: Wild About Love Member Event

Become a member and receive free admission to Wild About Love, a G-rated presentation about our wild counterparts & their amazing love stories! Wild About Love, 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 7th, includes a talk, by our own Sherry Lankston, on the most uniquely passionate animals, a one-of-a kind bird nest craft, food, and animal encounters.

This is a members-only event so please consider joining us.

2: February Promotion: Birch Aquarium Reciprocal Admission

Purchase or renew a Membership by February 19th and receive an additional membership to the Birch Aquarium, good from March 1-15-2015. Only for Living Coast members.

3: March Promotion: VIP Seasonal Exhibit Preview

In addition to being the first to know ‘what’ our seasonal exhibits are each year, all Living Coast Members receive free admission to the VIP Seasonal Exhibit Preview on Friday, March 20th, 2015! You will be the first to experience our Seasonal Exhibit that promises to be a super experience!

Click HERE to become a Living Coast Member and take advantage of all these great events and promotions! Thank you for supporting the Living Coast Discovery Center!

Did you know? In most cases, your membership pays for itself in as little as two visits.  There you have it, more reasons to become a member.  So what are you waiting for? Join us!

Chula Vista Kayak and LCDC

Chula Vista Kayak Offers a Substantial Discount to LCDC Members & Guests

Many thanks to Chula Vista Kayak owner Harry Orgovan, who is also a Living Coast Docent, for taking a group of LCDC volunteers out for a unique view of the south side of San Diego Bay! Harry’s knowledge of San Diego Bay history and geology (from prehistoric times the present), not to mention his knowledge of flora and wildlife, made this guided tour an excellent way to spend an afternoon.

The pace of trip was relaxing, the sights were exhilarating and we managed to see a lot of wildlife, including Brant Geese, Curlews, Egrets, Herons, Osprey and a bat ray playing in the sea grass.  Though we looked diligently, we didn’t spot a wild Pacific Green Sea Turtle but there’s always next time.

If you’d like to tour San Diego Bay with Harry and learn a great deal about local geography, history and wildlife, visit the Daily Deals and Steals page on our website: or Chula Vista Kayak.

Chula Vista Kayak Special
Show your admission receipt or Membership card upon arrival for your reserved kayaking trip and receive 50% off a scheduled tour! You may choose from the tours listed or inquire about a private tour. Let Harry know that you’ll be using an LCDC discount by mentioning the ‘LCDC2015’  promotion on the phone when you call to reserve your spot at (619) 422-3600.

Living Coast Campers Host Fundraiser

Living Coast Campers Host Fundraiser

Ainsley (left) and Peyton (right) with their drinkls table.
Ainsley (left) and Peyton (right) with their drinks table.

What a sweet surprise! Ainsley and her brother Peyton are long time camp kids and regulars here at the Living Coast. These two little ones decided to host a fundraiser for us during a family garage sale and presented us with a check last week. Let’s give these two conservation heroes a big round of applause!

Education Director, Amanda Grant-Stout was floored by the kids’ efforts and generosity, and got a great photo of the kids with their favorite Living Coast animal.  Said Amanda:

Check presentation with (from left) Peyton, Sapphire, and Ainsley.

“Ainsley and her brother Peyton did a little fundraiser for us! Mom said Ainsley thought of it on her own during a garage sale and did a drinks table to raise money.  I thought it was so cute.”

Thank you, kids! If you would like to donate to the Living Coast, might we suggest our Animal Care Wishlist?  It has lots of giving levels for kids and adults to support necessary items for the animals in our care.

Anatomy of a Family Overnight Adventure

Anatomy of a Family Overnight Adventure

One of the coolest things that The Living Coast Discovery Center offers is Family Overnight Adventures. They are focused on family fun, wildlife adventures, snacks and sleepovers.  And you get to do all these things at sunset, nighttime and morning — when the general public is not normally allowed!

We’ve just announced our schedule for 2015 (see below) but we thought you might be curious about them, so here’s our “Anatomy of a Family Overnight Adventure.”

You arrive after hours, at 5:45 pm, and carpool into the center. (Usually you have to take the complimentary shuttle into the federally protected wildlife refuge on which the Living Coast sits but we lead you down our path right after all our regular guests have gone home.)

There’s a fun, family craft adventure to do that involves our friends of the slithery kind — and then you get to meet one of our best behaved snakes in person! Mr. Rosy is a family favorite even for those that aren’t fond of the reptile kind. (Not everyone has to touch the snake.)

You also get to meet a real night owl! There are several owls who live at the Living Coast and quite a few wild ones on the Marsh. You and your family will get to meet Tyto, the white barn owl, up close and personal this evening.  If you like night hikes and encountering owls, this might be the highlight of your adventure!

Then there’s a light snack with a movie followed by indoor camping.
Note to parents: camping indoors gives you all the excitement of the outdoors without the bugs (and with a bathroom nearby).

We’ve left a few things out, because we want to surprise you and fill you with wonder.   They are more fun things for kids and adults to do with animals and nature.  But we think we’ve given you a good look
at our fun and informative Family Overnight Adventure.

Here now is our 2015 schedule for…

SuperWild Snooze – March 28-29 or July 11-12
Be the first to explore the new critters of our Seasonal Exhibit after dark!  The Seasonal Exhibit is a secret for now, but your night will be full of discovering all the qualities that make these critters unique on the animal kingdom. Through animal encounters, feedings and nature hikes this night will be sure to leave you saying “super!”

Sea Turtle Slumber Party – May 8-9
Explore the world of the endangered green sea turtle through turtle games and crafts and stories, a hike through the refuge to San Diego Bay and a rare opportunity to meet the Living Coast Discovery Center’s sea turtles (and other critters) up-close!

Mysterious Midnight at the Marsh – Oct. 23-24
(Also Offered in September, October and November)
Spooky animal encounters, night hikes through the marsh, a mysterious treasure hunt, creepy snacks and more are sure to put the howl in your Halloween!

Family Overnight Adventure Information

Time: 5:45pm to 9:30am
Ages: 5 and older (Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult)
Fees: $45 per person ($40 for members)
Includes all activities, animal encounters, take-homes and breakfast/snacks!
Full payment must be received to reserve your spot(s) in the Overnight Adventure

For more information, click here!

Winter Camp 2014-15

Kids had so much fun at winter camp…
Save the date for camps in 2015!

As you know, the Living Coast Discovery Center gives kids a great experience with local wildlife every chance we get. School groups visit just about every day, we do family overnight adventures and, when school’s out, camp’s in!  Take a look at camp kids having a blast at our Winter Day Camps. It’s never too early to mark your calendars for upcoming camps (check out the dates below) and get your kids ready for an adventure at the Living Coast!

2015 Day Camps

Spring: March 23 – April 3, 2015 (9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.)
Summer: June 8 – July 24, 2015 (9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.)

Year End Appeal

Looking forward to a making a difference in 2015 with your help…

Thank you for helping us increase awareness of San Diego Bay’s habitats, plants and wildlife in 2014!  We truly could not do what we do without the generosity of our visitors and, especially, our Members and Donors.  If you are looking for an organization to support in 2015, here are a few reasons to give to the Living Coast Discovery Center…

  • Only 10% of native wetlands remain and the Living Coast is on one of them
  • 75,000 people annually interact with native species and habitats on site
  • 15,000 students gain hands-on knowledge through field trips to the Living Coast
  • Our Wild San Diego outreach team visits thousands more kids who can’t afford trips

As with all nonprofit organizations, the Living Coast Discovery Center relies on donations from people as dedicated to education about, and preservation of, coastal animals, plants and habitats as we are. For more information or to donate online, please click here.

On behalf of the natural resources we protect and the people who do that important work, Thank you for considering a year-end donation!

Endangered Shaw’s Agave Gets Room To Breathe

Endangered Shaw’s Agave Gets Room To Breathe

Boy Scouts from Troop 801 re-route fence for endangered agave


Shaw's Agave.

We care about plants at the Living Coast Discovery Center as much as the animals in our care.  On Dec. 27th, eight Eagle Scouts from Troop 801 came to the Living Coast to assist our Horticulturalist Mark Valen with a prickly problem. Our Shaw’s Agave, an endangered plant, was growing onto the fence that separates it from the general public.

Jacob Blauser and his friends rerouted the fence, removed a large Salt Bush, and replaced it with plants that will provide good habitat for birds and provide a better view from our outdoor classroom.  Eagle Scouts plan and execute community projects in keeping with their code, of which conservation is a leading principal.

Jacob, who can be seen third from the right in the “After” photo, planned to be here for two days. With a lot of help from his friends, the task was completed in one.  Thanks Jacob, and friends — and Troop 801 in Coronado — for being South Bay Proud!

For more information on Shaw’s Agave and Jacob’s Troop, visit these links: Shaw’s Agave and Troop 801.  More photos follow…


Did you know? Other names for Shaw’s Agave include Coastal Agave and Agave shawii. They can be found along the Pacific coast of Baja California, extending north into the coastal chaparral of southernmost California.


CBS 8 at the Living Coast

Shawn Styles came to the Living Coast on Monday, Jan. 5th for a video report on the Christmas Bird Count, an annual Audubon Society event supported by volunteers, including three of our favorite birders. Check out the video here and visit the links below for more information.



LCDC Blog: http://www.thelivingcoast.org/christmas-bird-count/
Audubon Society: http://birds.audubon.org/christmas-bird-count
CBS 8: http://www.cbs8.com/story/27767087/bird-enthusiasts-track-count-in-san-diego

Christmas Bird Count

Christmas Bird Count at Sweetwater Marsh

and the Living Coast Discovery Center

The Living Coast Discovery Center — along with some intrepid volunteers — participated in the Audubon Society’s annual Christmas Bird Count on December 20, 2014.

Some of the most notable sightings included a Tundra Swan, an adult Reddish Egret and adult Little Blue Heron, which is the first recorded on the refuge. Unfortunately, some species continue to decline, including Costa’s Hummingbird which used to breed around the Living Coast, but now appears to have vanished, and Loggerhead Shrike was missed again after being recorded for several straight years, a sign of its serious decline throughout the county.

Here at LCDC, three birders headed out at 11am and finished at 2pm. Living Coast volunteers Jeanne Raimond, Judy McIntosh and Lura Cox took the refuge road and walked for a mile and a half on the trails surrounding the exterior of the center. Here’s what they saw.