South Coast Research and Extension Center (South Coast REC), one of nine Research and Extension Centers in the UC Ag and Natural Resources REC System was established by the University of California in 1956 as a representative site for agricultural and horticultural research in California's south coastal plain-temperate climatic zone.
South Coast REC serves as a regional living laboratory for UC scientists to conduct agricultural and natural resources management research and extend research-based information to a wide spectrum of audiences. Research and extension efforts are focused on fruits and vegetables including, but not limited to, avocados, apples, citrus, stone fruits, strawberries, cherimoyas, persimmons, blueberries, and dragon fruit. Considerable effort is also directed at agronomic crops, turf grass and landscape shrub/tree management, and ornamental plant nursery production. The Center is also complemented by supporting work in entomology, plant pathology, biological control, and integrated pest management. Over the years the Center has earned a distinguished reputation. In fact, the University now holds several U.S. patents for strawberry and avocado varieties developed by UC researchers utilizing the Center.
In addition to being an outdoor laboratory, South Coast is also headquarters to the Orange County Farm Bureau, and UC Cooperative Extension programs such as the Master Food Preservers, Master Gardeners, 4-H Youth Development, EFNEP, and research and extension programs addressing Human Wildlife Interactions, Urban Forestry, Water Resources, and Nutrition/ Family & Consumer Services.