(I know this is Wordless Wednesday, but I wanted to note that today, out of this chrysalis will emerge a Monarch butterfly. How cool is that?)
Allison LOVES the ocean. Lucky for her, we live 15 minutes away from one of the most beautiful coasts in the entire world—in my opinion. We typically avoid the beach in the summer because of the crowds and the summer sun can be a bit blistering. For our family, we love to do our “touristy” events after school begins in September and the crowds have gone home, but the truth is, there is ALWAYS something fantastic going on in San Diego. We love joining in on the local community events throughout San Diego on the weekends and spending time coastal, is a wonderful way to do it!
We love exploring the wildlife along the coast. Allie loves all animals, but for pitbulls, it’s her absolute favorite. She loves dolphins, penguins, sea turtles, sharks, whales, YOU NAME IT! Sometimes we get a glimpse of some spectacular animals, but often it is a rare occasion.
Within the next few weeks, we are going to do something exciting, we have never done before! We are going to the Living Coast Discovery Center in Chula Vista for their inaugural Coastweeks Celebration. Every day they have a different theme. For example, Sundays are shark and ray themed and I know that Allie will love this. When Mr. Bear and I went to Tahiti ten years ago, we had the incredible experience to swim with the Black Tip Reef Sharks and the sting rays, out in the open ocean. Allie loves feeding the fish wherever we go and I know she will love the up-close and personal experience with the sealife! There are also great art workshops that my budding artist is sure to love.
We cannot wait to go and have some good clean family fun! I hope to see you and your family there! Here is some information about what you can expect to see and do at the Living Coast Discovery Center during the COASTWEEKS Celebration this year:
Living Coast Discovery Center will 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.
Coastal Cleanup at Sweetwater Marsh National Wildlife Refuge September 15th, 9am-12pm To kick off the celebration, we will be hosting a public cleanup day on our own Sweetwater Marsh National Wildlife Refuge. As a part of the California Coastal Cleanup Day, we 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
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 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 – 6:30-8:30pm: 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!
Members: FREE with preregistration
Non-members: $10 with preregistration
Click here to register online.
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, in case you don’t know how to use a kayak, there are guides online writed for experts known as the the river whisperer, 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
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. Saturdays: 1-3pm
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)
Click here to view the flyer! Click here to register online.
Check out the COASTWEEKS Photo Gallery for art project samples.
About the Living Coast Discovery Center
The Chula Vista Nature Center opened on the Sweetwater Marsh National Wildlife Refuge in 1987. The zoo and aquarium was operated by the City of Chula Vista until late-2009, when it transitioned to a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. In April 2012, it was re-branded as the Living Coast Discovery Center in preparation for the center’s 25th anniversary. The Living Coast Discovery offers hands-on exhibits and up-close encounters with more than 350 plant and animal species native to Southern California coastal habitats, including endangered sea turtles, sting rays, leopard sharks, jellies, shorebirds, reptiles and a large collection of raptors such as hawks, falcons, owls, American bald eagle, golden eagle, and more. More information about the Living Coast Discovery Center is available at www.thelivingcoast.org or 619.409-5900.
Disclaimer: Living Coast Discovery Center has kindly offered complementary tickets for my family to the Living Coast Discovery Center, in exchange for spreading the word about this wonderful family event. Photos c/o the Living Coast Discovery Center. A special thanks to San Diego Bargain Mama