CHULA VISTA, CALIF. – The Living Coast Discovery Center, a nonprofit zoo and aquarium on San Diego Bay in Chula Vista, raised $84,000 in net proceeds at its eighth annual Farm to Bay event on Aug. 5. The funds, which were generated through a combination of sponsorships, ticket sales, auctions and Raise the Paddle donations, support coastal wildlife conservation, education and sustainability programs at the Living Coast throughout the year.
Approximately 400 guests attended the event, with Chef Jeff Roberto, owner of Sushi on a Roll (SOAR) serving as culinary chair. In celebration of its 30th anniversary, the Living Coast also took the opportunity that evening to honor San Diego County Supervisor Greg Cox for his vision, guidance and support, without which the Living Coast would not exist.
“We are grateful for the support of Supervisor Cox and the local community, sponsors and volunteers for making Farm to Bay a success,” said Living Coast Executive Director Ben Vallejos. “This is our biggest and most important fundraiser of the year, and we rely on the funds raised to continue connecting students and families with our coastal wildlife, habitats and environment.”
Farm to Bay is the only San Diego culinary event set within a protected national wildlife refuge. In keeping with the Living Coast’s commitment to the environment and sustainability, the event committee has taken the necessary steps toward producing a zero-waste event. Each year, Farm to Bay’s event waste is hand-sorted and composted on-site by a team from Chula Vista Clean and master composters. This year, the event committee reported that 88 percent of event waste (385 pounds) was recycled or composted and diverted from landfills – the highest totals ever for the event.
The 2017 Farm to Bay sponsors included Marine Group Boat Works (presenting sponsor), Chula Vista Clean, Mission Federal Credit Union, BAE Systems, Baldwin & Sons, Cox Communications, Loews Coronado Bay Resort, Republic Services, San Diego International Airport, Sprouts Farmers Market–Chula Vista and Eastlake, Walmart, Wells Fargo, Pacifica Companies Amara Bay, Jim Biddle, EDCO Disposal, General Dynamics NASSCO, Hoffman Hanono Insurance Services, Jeff Katz Architecture, The Miller Hull Partnership LLP, Port of San Diego, Sycuan Casino, The San Diego Foundation and Waitt Foundation. Media partners included San Diego Magazine, Edible San Diego and Sunny 98.1 FM.
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 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.