Like its wetland neighbors to the south, Sweetwater Marsh supports many of the same animals and plants as the Tijuana Slough and South Bay Refuges. Palmer's Frankenia, a rare salt marsh plant, can also be found on this refuge. Surrounded by numerous gardens, the Chula Vista Nature Center soars like an ark above the 316 acre Sweetwater Marsh. The Nature Center provides visitors with interpretive and interactive exhibits explaining the marsh habitat, self-guided environmental education programs, guided nature and bird walks, a shark and ray exhibit, and the opportunity to view native birds in outdoor aviaries that support burrowing owls, shorebirds, egrets and herons. Aviary dwellers are all birds that cannot be released back into their native habitats.