Living Coast Discovery Center

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Living Coast Discovery Center
Chula Vista Nature Center Front.jpg
Established1987 as the Chula Vista Nature Center
Location1000 Gunpowder Point Drive
Chula Vista, California
Coordinates32°38′28″N 117°06′38″W / 32.641234°N 117.110470°W / 32.641234; -117.110470
TypeNature center, aquarium and zoo

The Living Coast Discovery Center is an environmental education center with marine animal, animal and bird exhibits located in the Sweetwater Marsh Unit of the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge in Chula Vista, California.[1][2] Permanent displays at the Living Coast focus on native animals and plants found in Southern California and San Diego Bay.[3]


Shovelnose guitarfish in the touch pool

The site consists of several large exhibit spaces:

The Living Coast runs a new seasonal exhibit each year, featuring animals from around the world, from late March/April through Labor Day.

There are 1.5 miles of trails from the Center in the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge out to the shore of San Diego Bay.

In addition to general public exhibits, the Living Coast hosts over 15,000 school children at their facility each year for educational field trips that focus on Science & Environmental programs.


The Center was originally opened in 1987 as the 'Chula Vista Nature Center' that was owned and operated by the City of Chula Vista. In 2010 the organization transitioned over to an independent 501(c)3 non-profit and a new name.[7]


The Living Coast Discovery Center inspires the care and exploration of the living Earth by connecting people with coastal animals, plants and habitats.

The mission of the Living Coast Discovery Center is to:

  • Partner in collaborative research and restoration of coastal wetlands and bays.
  • Provide student-focused education through STEAM: Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics.
  • Increase knowledge of coastal environments, climate change adaptation, and human coexistence with the natural resources of San Diego Bay."[8]


  1. ^ "San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge: Plan Your Visit". US Fish & Wildlife Service. Retrieved 18 July 2016.
  2. ^ PR Newswire (February 18, 2015) "SDG&E Establishes $2 Million Endowment Fund To Support Chula Vista's Living Coast Discovery Center" Archived 2015-02-21 at the Wayback Machine CNN Money
  3. ^ "City extends contract with Living Coast". San Diego Union-Tribune. September 30, 2014. Retrieved 18 July 2016.
  4. ^ "Turtle Lagoon". Living Coast Discovery Center.
  5. ^ Vigil, Jennerfer (September 25, 2014). "130-pound Sea Turtle to Make Home at Chula Vista Center". Times of San Diego.
  6. ^ "Living Coast Discovery Center – San Diego's Hidden Nature Center". Bernasconi Bits. February 12, 2014. Retrieved 18 July 2016.
  7. ^ "Wildlife Neighbors at the Living Coast Discovery Center". Tree Huggers International. May 6, 2012. Retrieved 18 July 2016.
  8. ^ "About Us". Living Coast Discovery Center.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 32°38′24″N 117°06′37″W / 32.6401°N 117.1104°W / 32.6401; -117.1104