SAN DIEGO – The Living Coast Discovery Center, a nonprofit zoo and aquarium located on San Diego Bay in Chula Vista, received a $25,000 Environmental Champions grant from long-time community partner San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E). The funding will support Science Without Boundaries, a multi-faceted program encompassing Living Lab field trips, Our Wild San Diego school outreach programs and wildlife day camps for K-12 students.
Each year, SDG&E’s Environmental Champions giving initiative supports nonprofit organizations whose programs promote environmental education, community engagement and stewardship to the K–12 populations of underserved communities in San Diego and southern Orange counties. This year’s grant cycle focuses on supporting efforts to increase climate science education in the region.
SDG&E is a key supporter of the Living Coast Discovery Center and their funding has helped expand and strengthen the Living Coast’s educational programs for seven consecutive years. The Living Coast will now develop and incorporate curricula on climate science into its programs for students in grades six through eight. This program will serve primarily disadvantaged students from Title 1 schools as well as students that have limited access to the coastline or open spaces, live in rural areas or have limited access to field trips or extracurricular programs at their school.
“Expanding the curricula to include climate science will further align our educational programs with Next Generation Science Standards and help youth understand their role and how they can preserve our precious resources,” said Ben Vallejos, executive director of the Living Coast Discovery Center. “We are proud to partner with SDG&E to extend these important and enriching opportunities to students in our San Diego community.”
“Bringing climate science education to more San Diego students is vital to developing an environmentally conscientious generation who will help create a more sustainable region,” said SDG&E Chief Environmental Officer and Vice President of Operations Support, Mike Schneider. “We are proud to partner with The Living Coast as they impact our youth to the benefit of the entire San Diego region.”
SDG&E is The Living Coast’s largest corporate partner, having contributed more than $300,000 in sponsorships and grants to support various educational programs at The Living Coast over the years. In 2015, SDG&E established a $2 million endowment through The San Diego Foundation—the Living Coast Discovery Center South Bay Enhancement Fund—to support the continued operation of The Living Coast’s environmental education programs, and the public’s access and enjoyment of the San Diego Bay.
About Living Coast Discovery Center
The Living Coast Discovery Center, a zoo/aquarium formerly known as the Chula Vista Nature Center, opened on the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge at Sweetwater Marsh in 1987. The facility 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. Living Coast Discovery Center offers hands-on exhibits and up-close encounters with 350 plant and animal species native to Southern California coastal habitats. More information about the Living Coast Discovery Center is available at www.thelivingcoast.org.