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Dig Imperial Beach

Living Coast Discovery Center Reopening Friday, July 3rd

Jun 24, 2020 01:55PM ● By Paul Spear

We are reopening on Friday, July 3, 2020 with new hours of Friday - Sunday 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. on a first come, first served basis. We will have limited availability for pre-booked, private tours Monday-Thursday. Our hours and operations have been modified to provide a safe experience for our guests and staff. Please read our new guidelines and plan your visit ahead of time.

Members and Volunteers are invited to a sneak preview on July 1 & 2!



The safety of our guests, employees, volunteers, and animals is our highest priority. We are introducing new measures and cleanings designed to ensure a safe and healthy guest experience. These measures are based on guidance from health authorities, including the CDC, along with requirements of the state of California and San Diego County.

An inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present; we cannot guarantee you will not be exposed during your visit. COVID-19 is an extremely contagious disease that can lead to severe illness and death. According to the CDC, older adults and guests of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions are especially vulnerable. Guests should evaluate their risk in determining whether to visit.

By visiting the Living Coast Discovery Center, you voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19.

Stay Home When Sick: If you or anyone in your household has had any symptoms of COVID-19 in the past two weeks, we ask that you stay home and visit at a later date. 

Verbal Screening: Per CDC recommendations, you will be asked a series of health questions before being permitted onto the shuttle.

Facial Coverings: DSC_2615Per health and local guidelines, facial coverings are required for all guests two years of age and older and must be worn at all times indoors and also outdoors when social distancing is not possible.

Social Distancing: Maintain a six-foot distance between you and other guests or Living Coast team members. Employees will be dispersed throughout the grounds to remind guests of social distancing. Please follow their directions to help keep everyone safe.

Wash & Sanitize Your Hands: We have increased hand-washing stations and added sanitizing stations throughout the Center. Please frequently wash and sanitize your hands and avoid touching exhibits and objects. Avoid touching your face when possible.


We’ve made changes to our operations and encounters for safety purposes. IMG_6487-2 1

New Hours: Beginning Friday, July 3, we will be open to the public 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Friday -Sunday. We will have limited private tour reservations available Mondays -Thursdays. Book your private tour here. 

Parking Lot: The parking lot will be open as usual, but the shuttle capacity will be limited to allow for social distancing. This means there may be longer than usual waits for the shuttle. We recommend arriving earlier in the day or later in the afternoon to minimize shuttle wait times. You will be asked to answer the health screening questions and present your mask before boarding the shuttle.

Reduced-Contact Payment: We have installed a contactless payment feature for ticketing and membership purchases. We accept Visa or MasterCard only. The admissions counter has also been out-fitted with plexiglass for further safety of guests and our team members.


Exhibit Changes: Please follow the new one-directional flow of the Center to allow for social distancing. The guidelines will still allow you to see all open exhibits. Some exhibits may be closed or modified for the health and safety of the public. The Shark & Ray Exhibit is open, but you may not touch the rays or exhibit. The following areas are closed: Upper Observation Deck & Rail Nest play structure. 

No Scheduled Animal Feeds: To reduce crowds, we are no longer offering scheduled animal feedings. The animals are fed throughout the day so you will have opportunities to see them eating. You may also see our Animal Care staff walking with animals. We ask that you continue to maintain a 6-foot distance while viewing the animals from a safe space. 

Private Animal Encounters: Our private animal encounters, which included a behind the scenes tour, are unavailable due to safety concerns. Instead, we are offering Meet & Greets. For an additional $5/person, get a semi-private encounter with one of our animal ambassadors and a Keeper during a specified timeframe. Check with the front desk for more details and to purchase.

Gift Shop Closure: The gift shop is temporarily closed. Please bring your own refreshments and snacks. We have a refillable water bottle station, but drinking fountains are closed. 


When will you reopen?

We will reopen to the public on July 3, 2020, at 10 a.m. Members will be able to visit beginning July 1. 

Do I need a reservation?

We are not currently requiring advanced ticket purchasing. Depending on the crowds, we may implement this in the future. Make sure to check our website before visiting the Living Coast. 

 Do I need a facial covering/mask?

Yes, per the mandate from the California Department of Public Health, any person ages 2+ is required to have a mask or facial covering. Guests will not be permitted on the shuttle without one. Please read details in the Safety section above.

Can I purchase/renew a membership while on-site?

Yes. Although it is highly recommended to purchase your membership online before visiting to reduce contact:

Can I use an expired coupon?

Coupons that were still valid as of March 15, 2020 are being extended by 4 months. Memberships that expired during our closure are also being extended. 

Are you offering group tickets/tours?

Aside from the reserved, private tours Monday-Thursday, we are not offering group tickets at this time.

Do you accept cash payment?

Yes, but credit card is preferred.

Will you take my temperature? 

Not at this time. Guests will be asked a series of health questions prior to their entry. For your safety, and that of our team members, other guests, and wildlife, please do not visit if you are unwell, feel feverish, or have had a confirmed fever of 100 degrees or more in the last 3 days or other symptoms of COVID-19.

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