CHULA VISTA, CALIF. – The Living Coast Discovery Center, a nonprofit zoo and aquarium on San Diego Bay in Chula Vista, raised $96,000 in net proceeds at its seventh annual Farm to Bay event on Aug. 6, tying with last year’s record-breaking event revenues. The funds were generated through a combination of sponsorships, ticket sales, auction proceeds and Raise the Paddle donations and will be used to support coastal wildlife, education and sustainability programs at the Living Coast throughout the year.
Over 400 guests attended the event, with Will Gustwiller, chef/owner of Eclipse Chocolate Bar & Bistro serving as the 2016 culinary chair. Over 40 restaurants, farms, craft breweries, wineries and distilleries participated with food and beverage sampling. Guests also enjoyed live music on three stages, up-close animal encounters and feedings, as well as live and silent auctions.
Event sponsors included Marine Group Boat Works (presenting sponsor), City of Chula Vista–Environmental Services, SDG&E, Sprouts Farmers Market–Chula Vista and Eastlake, Mission Federal Credit Union, BAE Systems, Baldwin & Sons, Cox Communications, Loews Coronado Bay Resort, Unified Port of San Diego, Wells Fargo, General Dynamics NASSCO, Hoffman Hanono Insurance Services, Home Advisor, The San Diego Foundation, Jeff Katz Architecture, Miller Hull, Pacifica Companies, Point Loma Credit Union, Republic Services, The Securities Center Inc., Seven Mile Casino, and The Waitt Foundation. Media partners included San Diego Magazine, San Diego City Beat, Edible San Diego and Sunny 98.1 FM.
Farm to Bay is the only San Diego fundraising event set within a protected national wildlife refuge. In keeping with the Living Coast’s commitment to the environment, the Farm to Bay Event Committee, led by the City of Chula Vista Sustainability Task Force, has taken the necessary steps towards producing a zero-waste event. This year, as a result of their efforts, 78 percent of event waste was recycled or composted and diverted from landfills.
The team continues to build upon its successes each year by utilizing more earth-friendly materials and processes and working closely with food and beverage partners to reduce overall waste. The winner for this year’s most sustainable partner was the U.S. Olympic Training Center, whose ceviche salad dish was served on fully compostable plant fiber plates. Karl Klein, executive chef for the OTC, is a certified Master Composter through the Living Coast Discovery Center and City of Chula Vista training program. Several other food and beverage partners were close runners-up.
About the Living Coast Discovery Center
The Living Coast Discovery Center, a 501(c) 3 educational zoo and aquarium located within the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge on Sweetwater Marsh, began operating as a non-profit in 2010 after assuming operations of the Chula Vista Nature Center. The Living Coast Discovery Center 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.