Living Coast Discovery Center

aka Chula Vista Nature Center   |   Chula Vista, CA   |  www.thelivingcoast.org

Mission

The Living Coast Discovery Center inspires the community to connect with and care for our coastal environment.

Notes from the nonprofit

Since 1987, the Living Coast has provided a living interpretive experience while promoting coastal resource conservation and environmental stewardship through education. The Living Coast is a zoo and aquarium that focuses on local animals from the San Diego region and provides unique opportunities to explore nature trails, learn about coastal resource conservation, and experience native wildlife up-close. Through partnerships with the City of Chula Vista and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Living Coast conducts nature-based educational programs and collaborative research within the 316-acre Sweetwater Marsh Unit of the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Our vision is a thriving natural coast through engaged conservation.

Ruling year info

1997

Executive Director

Mr. Ben Vallejos

Main address

1000 Gunpowder Point Drive

Chula Vista, CA 91910 USA

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Formerly known as

Environmental Legacy Fund

EIN

33-0750177

NTEE code info

Zoo, Zoological Society (D50)

Environmental Education and Outdoor Survival Programs (C60)

Protection of Endangered Species (D31)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Educational Programs

Since 1987, the Living Coast Discovery Center has provided a living interpretive experience while promoting coastal resource conservation and environmental stewardship through education. Our vision is a thriving natural coast through engaged conservation. The Living Coast is an educational zoo and aquarium that focuses on local animals from the San Diego region and provides a unique opportunity for guests to explore the nature trails, learn about coastal resource conservation, and experience native wildlife up-close. Through partnerships with the City of Chula Vista and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Living Coast conducts nature-based educational programs and collaborative research within the 316-acre Sweetwater Marsh Unit of the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge.

Many of the animals at the Living Coast are injured or imprinted (reliant on human care) and cannot be released into the wild. Environmental lessons come alive and become instantly relevant as visitors of all ages interact with exhibits that feature native wildlife including avian species (shore birds, owls, and eagles), aquatic species (sharks, fish, and sea turtles), and terrestrial species (tortoises, snakes, and reptiles). Annually, the Living Coast welcomes over 85,000 visitors including over 29,000 school children who participate in field trips and explore more than 30 interactive exhibits.

Population(s) Served

1. Sunday Backyard Composting Workshop
Every Sunday 1:00pm - 2:00pm
Free with paid admission, Free for members

This is an introductory workshop that covers all the basics and answers everybody's individual questions about home composting. Participants leave with all the knowledge they will need to start composting at home. After attending our composting workshop, Chula Vista residents may purchase one of these bins at a subsidized price.

2. Master Composter Training Course
Held twice a year in the Spring and Fall, once a week for 6 weeks -

This is a six week course in which participants become experts in composting and healthy soil. This course is intended especially for those already working with composting and gardening in some capacity and wanting to increase their knowledge and learn how to teach it to others. However, no advanced knowledge is necessary. The class is very helpful for people in landscaping or gardening professions, the restaurant industry, environmental non-profits, teaching positions, municipal and other public sector spheres. Although, homeowners are encouraged to attend as well.

The course includes hands-on composting experience, exciting guest lectures, field trip and networking opportunities. Students learn about vermiculture and build a worm bin to take home with them.

Students receive their Master Composter certificate, issued by the City of Chula Vista, students must complete 30 hours of volunteer service either at the Discovery Center, an outreach event, school/community garden, etc.

3. We will provide compost lectures at community functions, consulting with businesses wanting to implement composting systems at their facility, and composting is incorporated into the curricula of several of our day camp programs.

Population(s) Served

Unique to the Sweetwater Marsh is the appearance of the light-footed Ridgway’s rail, an endangered bird that thrives in wetland habitat. The Living Coast is the only zoological institution in the world where the general public can view and learn about this species. Through collaboration with USFWS and other partners, over 500 rails have been zoological bred and released into the wild since 2001.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Financials

Living Coast Discovery Center
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Living Coast Discovery Center

Board of directors
as of 5/11/2020
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Bob Kilpatrick

BAE Systems SD Ship Repair, Vice President and General Manager, Retired

Term: 2019 -

Herb Engel

Marine Group Boat Works

Frank Roseman

Community Volunteer

Ken Weimer

Retired, Insurance Broker

Andy Yuen

U.S. Fish & Wildlife, Liaison to Board

Kyle Strong

Collins Aerospace

Bob Koerber

BAE Systems

Sara Giobbi

General Dynamics NASSCO

Chris Lewis

The Lewis Group, Inc.

Sam Cardoso

Mission Federal Credit Union

Susan Fuller

Fuller’s Plumbing Service

Kendall Helm

San Diego Gas & Electric

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 05/11/2020

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Asian American/Pacific Islanders/Asian
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data