The Living Coast Discovery Center in Chula Vista has raised enough money to keep their doors open. Earlier this month, the center announced that it would close by October 28th and have to re-home all their animals because of a $200,000 budget shortfall. In about 27 days, they managed to raise double the amount and will be able to keep their doors open. $220, 000 has already been received and another $181,000 has been pledged on top of that amount. Money came from private donations, foundations and business in the community. Last week, Sherry Lankston, the Marketing Co-ordinator for the Living Coast Discovery Center, mentioned that they were very close to their goal and hoped that “knights in shining armor” would come through to meet their goal.
The budget shortfall came about when expected grants and funding did not come through as expected. One of these grants would have come from SDG&E for mitigation for removing the power plant and related activities that impacted the center and surrounding areas. But, the CPUC had deemed the mitigation unnecessary. The center announced that it would close on October 28th and begin re-homing their animals beginning in December. One of these occupants includes a female mallard named Roxy who has lived at the center nearly all of her life. She lives in an open aviary with another duck and birds that are un-releasable such as a couple of ibises, snowy egrets, and ruddy ducks among other birds. They also house raptors and work with endangered clapper rails. Raising the money to keep the center open saves these animals the stress of moving to a new home.
The center is currently looking for sustainable ways to stay open and continue its work local native animals and educational activities. Areas being looked at include additional research and educational activities and collaborations.