What happened to Sweetwater Marsh?

Living Coast Discovery Center
  • Living Coast Discovery Center

From 1916 through 1920, Hercules Powder Company operated a kelp processing plant built on the Sweetwater Marsh to extract materials used in the production of explosives used in World War I. A cotton seed operation then used the abandoned buildings to store cotton seed until it burned down in 1929. Remnants of the plant, which gave the location the name Gunpowder Point, can still be seen along some of the trails.

In 1930, greenhouses were constructed and used to grow crops just east of the marsh on the 46 acres of the land where the Living Coast Discovery Center is now located. The area was farmed until around 1980. In 1978, the movie Attack of the Killer Tomatoes was filmed in and around Sweetwater Marsh. From 1980 until 1985, the area was used mostly as an illegal dump site.

By June 1987, the Chula Vista Nature Center was constructed. In 2012, the center was renamed the Living Coast Discovery Center and introduced the day camps and overnight programs.

Past Event

Bio Days

Past Event

Bio Days

Saturday and Sunday, April 11 and 12 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., there is a program for teens who might want to pursue biology as a career. They will learn how to care for wildlife, feed animals, prepare diets.

Email: [email protected]

Phone: (619) 409-5908

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