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Living Coast Discovery Center Struggling To Survive During Pandemic

The Living Coast Discovery Center is shown in this undated photo.

Photo by KPBS Staff

Above: The Living Coast Discovery Center is shown in this undated photo.

One of San Diego County’s treasures is in trouble.

As with many organizations, the Living Coast Discovery Center in Chula Vista is closed because of COVID-19. It has had to lay off workers, but care for the animals continues and the funds to keep things going are drying up.

Listen to this story by John Carroll.

The center is described online as an environmental education center, but it's so much more than that.

“We really focus on bringing people and local wildlife together and getting people really inspired and passionate about stuff that they can find right in their own backyard,” said Kelsey Worth, animal care specialist.

The Discovery Center encompasses three acres inside the 316-acre San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge, a critical wetland where all sorts of animals thrive.

“You get to see really cool stuff like ospreys catching fish ... and a diverse collection of shorebirds,” she said.

The Discovery Center is home to dozens of birds and marine mammals. Many of them are brought to the center because they cannot live in the wild.

“We are home to not only the animals that can’t go back into the wild but also a refuge for those who unfortunately are being displaced due to a lot of human impact,” Worth said.

Reported by John Carroll

Then, there’s the impact of COVID 19. It has forced the Discovery Center to close, which means critical revenue used to keep the place running is gone.

“The majority of our revenue does come not only from admissions but also from school groups and field trips and things like that,” Worth said.

The center is trying to hold on until they can welcome visitors again. They are trying to raise $100,000 by the end of the month to make their goal of $500,000.

Donations can be made at the Discovery Center’s website.

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John Carroll
General Assignment Reporter & Anchor

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI'm a general assignment reporter and Saturday morning radio anchor for KPBS. I love coming up with story ideas that aren't being covered elsewhere, but I'm also ready to cover the breaking news of the day. In addition, I bring you the local news headlines on Saturday mornings during NPR's Weekend Edition.

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