The Living Coast Discovery Center, formerly the Chula Vista Nature Center, invites you to celebrate Coastweeks with three fun weeks of family-friendly activities, at their beautiful location in the South Bay area of San Diego! The celebration is from September 15th – October 6th, 2012, and Living Coast Discovery Center has set up daily activities with coastal themes, highlighting the special places and species of their unique local coastline habitats. Activities include hands-on art workshops, special speakers, and more! Best of all, the activities are FREE with admission during Coastweeks!
The Living Coast Discovery Center is located at 1000 Gunpowder Point Drive, Chula Vista, CA 91910. Click HERE for the flyer on their Coastweeks activities, or scroll below for highlights on planned activities. You can check out their website at www.thelivingcoast.org. Perhaps we’ll see you there!
Coastweeks Activities Highlights:
Coastal Cleanup at Sweetwater Marsh National Wildlife Refuge
September 15th ~ 9:00am-12pm
To kick off the celebration, the Living Coast Discovery Center will be hosting a public cleanup day on their very own 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. Here’s a direct link to the Sweetwater Marsh Cleanup.
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 ~ 6:30pm-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)
Marsh Monday Kayaking Trips
Take a paddle through the coastal waters of South Bay with a guided naturalist in search of birds, sea turtles and other local coastal wildlife. Great for kids and adults! Single and tandem kayaks are available for use, and are included in the registration costs. Preregistration is required.
September 17th ~ 8am-10am
September 24th ~ 4pm-6pm
October 1st ~ 8am-10am
Members: Single Kayak ~ $15; Double Kayak ~ $20
Non-Members: Single Kayak ~ $25; Double Kayak ~ $30
For additional information, please call (619) 409-5908.
You can also visit their kayak tours page, HERE, for more information.
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! 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).
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. 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. 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 participate in a wild water fight!
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, September 15th – October 6th. 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.