July 2018
Note from the Executive Director

I hope everyone had a great 4th of July! June was a packed month at the Estuarium. Between the kickoff of Meet the Beach, wonderful Pier Peer events, and ongoing work on new Estuary Classroom Curriculum Kits, June has kept us busy! All that hard work pays off of course, because we have a whole lot in store for our patrons this month.

Shark Month is back once again! Join us at the Estuarium throughout the month of July for amazing shark themed education and activities, complete with our wonderful returning shark talk speakers Dr. Dayv Lowry and Sandy Zeiner. We are excited to host their talks during our regular open hours with free admission. It’s going to be JAWSOME!

The weather is getting warmer each day we step into summer. There’s no better time to join our Beach Naturalists at your favorite local beaches on low tide days. Our Meet the Beach program is widely successful, and our volunteers are eager to meet with more curious beach-goers. Join us in thanking them for their hard work and wishing them beautiful low tide days for the rest of the season!

Similarly, summer evenings have graced us with warm nights and late sunsets! If you haven’t made it to a Pier Peer event yet, now is the perfect time to do so. Last month’s Pier Peers brought us a number of amazing creatures including siphonophores, fried-egg jellies, and a few gorgeous nudibranchs. July’s Pier Peers will be on Tuesday the 10th and Saturday the 28th . So much life lurks right beneath the pier, so don’t miss your chance to discover it this summer!

Our education and outreach teams have been hard at work over the last few months on an exciting new project. This Fall, we are excited to introduce our new line of Estuary Classroom Curriculum Kits! With tons of fun, insightful activities and education about estuaries, we can’t wait to share them. These kits will be available for schools to check out through our site by the time students return to their classes. To learn about check out for our classroom curriculum kits, or for further information about their contents, please email .

Thank you for your support of the Puget Sound Estuarium! Summer has only just begun, and we have so much more in store!
Program Updates


July is Shark Month at the Estuarium! Join us throughout the month of July to celebrate and learn about these amazing icons. Shark teeth and jaws are on display, shark education and activities are abundant, and our returning guest speakers are back for another year of gripping shark talks!

July 21, 1:00 - 2:00 PM:
Dr. Dayv Lowry
Research Scientist
Department of Fish and Wildlife

July 29, 1:00 - 2:00 PM:
Sandy Zeiner
Shellfish and Enforcement Policy Analyst
NW Indian Fisheries Commission

Admission is free on Shark Talk days!
K - 12 Education

The Puget Sound Estuarium was invited to attend the 2018 GREEN STEM Summit hosted by the Hood Canal Salmon Enhancement Group. Our Education Coordinator had the opportunity to pilot one of our curriculum kit activities and educated some 250 students about the impact humans have on our local estuary food web.

Our Estuary Classroom Curriculum Kits are coming together! Starting in Fall 2018, the Puget Sound Estuarium will have 20 curriculum kits available for check out. Our kits cover four different estuary topics ranging from biodiversity to human impacts. The kits will be available for check out 2-3 weeks at a time. Information about our Estuary Classroom Curriculum Kit options and check out protocol will be available on our education webpage soon.

Thanks to the WA Recreation Conservation Office's No Child Left Inside grant, the Puget Sound Estuarium is currently offering FREE beach field trips this summer for K-12 student groups. Scheduling is tide dependent. To schedule your FREE beach field trip please fill out a field trip request form HERE and return it to
Meet the Beach

Our first weekend of Meet The Beach was a blast! 17 Beach Naturalists and three low tide days gave us the opportunity to speak with over 500 beach-goers! Thank you to all of our volunteers who made this happen!

Our next Meet the Beach events are July 13th, from 11:00 - 2:00 PM at Tolmie and Burfoot Park. Don't miss your chance to connect with inter-tidal life this summer!

For our full Meet the Beach schedule, please visit:
Pier Peer

We celebrated the upcoming solstice on a beautiful warm summer night on Boston Harbor! A crowd of helpful children and adults scoured the pier, and found all kinds of critters- sea lemons, nudibranchs, shrimp, siphoniphores, moon jellies, and a few kelp crabs! Fired-egg jellies were also out in full force, as our group found at least three large specimens floating around the pier.

Keep in mind, if you have a group (scouts, friends, family reunion, etc...) who you think would enjoy a fun evening discovering the underwater world of Puget Sound, you can schedule your own private Pier Peer event!

Please email for more information or to request a group inquiry form .
Come join us warm summer evenings to peer into the sea!

Participants (Age 13 and older) – $10
Children (Age 12 and younger) – FREE
Laughs from Larry, the Spiny Lumpsucker

Q: What did the seal with the broken arm say to the shark?
A: Do not consume if seal is broken!

It has been recorded that some 30 species of sharks have been spotted off the coast of Washington State, 11 of which have right here in the Puget Sound! While most sharks prefer deeper waters, the most commonly spotted sharks are Spiny Dogfish, Brown Cat Sharks, and even Bluntnose Sixgill Sharks!

While historically sharks have been demonized by the spread of misinformation in T.V. and movies, humans are at relatively low risk for shark attacks and actually cause much more harm to sharks than them to us. Through threats like climate change, pollution, food insecurity, and poaching, many shark populations are left vulnerable. We lose roughly 70 to 100 million sharks a year to poaching alone due to demands for products like shark fin soup (banned in Washington State). Luckily, through shark and marine mammal welfare groups providing proper education and rehabilitation, we can start to unravel the stigma against these majestic creatures! 

To submit your joke, email
About the Puget Sound Estuarium
Explore * Connect * Inspire

The Puget Sound Estuarium was founded by the South Sound Estuary Association (SSEA) to create opportunities for the public to learn about estuaries, geology, natural and cultural history, marine life, and human impact on the Puget Sound (the biggest estuary in the United States by volume and second largest in the United States by shoreline).

Our mission is to foster learning opportunities that inspire people of all ages to connect with, protect, and enjoy the unique estuary environment of the Puget Sound. 

We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and are supported by donations from caring individuals like you. Please help us continue our work by donating today. You can donate by mailing your check to: South Sound Estuary Association, PO Box 2182, Olympia, WA 98507, or visiting .
Our Supporters

We are grateful to have the support of our major donors, sponsors, and partners. Support these local businesses & partners. They support the Puget Sound Estuarium! 

  • Puget Sound Energy
  • Nancy LaPointe Navigate Financial 
  • Kevin Gordham
  • Cynthia Worth Law Group
  • The Pet Works - Estuarium
  • LOTT's WET Science Center - Discovery Speaker Series
  • Laura Lowe and the Mud Bay Blues Band
  • Coffee News - Connecting the Community
  • Boston Harbor Marina - Pier Peer
  • My Girl Yacht - K-12 Education
  • TSS Digital Services - Estuarium

Foundation Support:
  • The Russell Family Foundation
  • WA Department of Fish and Wildlife
  • WA Recreation and Conservation Office
  • Washington Foundation for the Environment
  • The Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment
  • The Norcliffe Foundation
  • Pacific Coast Shellfish Growers Association
  • Puget Sound Energy
  • Nisqually Indian Tribe
  • The Community Foundation of South Puget Sound
  • The Squaxin Tribe
  • US Fish and Wildlife

Photo Credits:
  • Leopard Shark - Triakis semifasciata, Brian Gratwicke