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Group Field Trips

Due to COVID-19, many of our programs have been placed on hold or gone virtual. You can find more information at thelivingcoast.org/coronavirus.


 Virtual Animal Encounters    We Still Offer Outreaches


Start planning your group’s adventure to the Living Coast!

The Living Coast offers a variety of options for your group to choose from when you come to visit us on the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge, Sweetwater Marsh. To find out more, call the Education Department at 619-409-5908.

Educational ToursDocent Harry
Learn from the best! Your group will be lead by a Living Coast interpretive guide! Depending on your guide’s expertise, he or she may choose to emphasize key topics such as watershed protection, recycling, pollution, native plants and animals, as well as practicing responsible outdoor recreation. Ratio limits include 20 students per tour. There is a $25 Docent Guide fee associated with this option.
A reservation is required and space is limited, reserve today!


Educational Tours include admission to the Living Coast all day, a 1-hour tour for 25 students (groups of 26-50 students will rotate between the 1-hour tour and 1-hour exploration of the aquariums), an assigned lunch space, staff led trail-backpacks, and more.

$7.20 / student                                          Free adult per 10 attending students
$11.20 / extra adult                               $25 Docent Guide Fee (per 50 students) 

Educational Programs
Become the expert! We have numerous educational programs that are designed to be fun, engaging, educational and meet the new Common Core State Standards and the upcoming Next Generation Science Standards. Program descriptions are listed below. Ratio limits include 40 students per program. There is a $25 Docent Guide fee associated with this option. 
A reservation is required and space is limited, reserve today!


Educational Programs include admission to the Living Coast all day, a 1-hour tour, a 1-hour hands-on educational program, an assigned lunch space, staff led trail-backpacks, and more.

$10.00 / student                                           Free adult per 10 attending students
$12.00 / extra adult                               $25 Docent Guide Fee (per 50 students) 

 Program Descriptions

Move It! (preschool)
Animals slither, swim, jump, and fly in very interesting ways. Students will learn about local animals that call San Diego home. Through fun dance moves, a hands-on discovery table and up-close animal encounters, children will walk away knowing how to crawl like a tortoise, slither like a snake and fly like a bird!

Crawling Crabs (ages 5-7)
Come crawl into the world of crabs and other crustacean relatives. Learn about adaptations with fun hands on exploration. Students will enjoy touching and observing crustacean molts. Students will also meet and hold real live crabs and crayfish.

Footprints on the Marsh (ages 6-8)
Tread lightly – our impact can be bigger than we think. Students will get to observe native wetland plants and animals in their marshy habitat. Following the example of the instructor, students will record and tally different species observed while hiking through the wetland. A focus on bird species will be emphasized with bird beak and feet comparisons.

Crustacean Lab (ages 7-9)
Ever wonder what it means to be a crab? Get up close with crabs, lobsters, and other crustaceans as you explore the world of arthropods. From exoskeletons to real live animal encounters, students will learn what it means to be a marine invertebrate. Your students will be excited about their crabbing adventures and all that they learned in the crustacean lab.

Food Chain Hunt (ages 8-11)
Kick start your ecology knowledge with a fun exploration of the Sweetwater Marsh Refuge. What better way to study ecology, then become an ecologist yourself? Students will study important aspects of ecology such as adaptations, predator-prey relations, and the recycling of organic matter. Then students will apply their new knowledge by looking for evidence of different animal species while hiking the trails around the refuge.

Fish Dissection (ages 8-15)
Get your hands all scaly and slimy with this dissection. Students will learn about the ins and outs of what makes a fish a fish. Through this fun, interactive dissection, students explore the internal and external parts that help a fish survive its marine habitat.

Fish Dissection (ages 8-15)
There is something squidy about this dissection. Students will learn about the internal and external parts that help a squid survive its ocean habitat. From three hearts to a reduced shell, the squid is a fascinating mollusk to scientifically study.

Become a Community Partner! 
Are you a non-profit organization that serves local San Diego Youth? Than email Education@thelivingcoast.org to find out more about our Community Partner Program. Community partners have extra perks such as free docent tours, free staff admissions per 10 students, and the opportunity to add additional animal encounters to your program. Contact the Education Department 619-409-5908 or Education@thelivingcoast.org for more information.