July 2019
Note from the Executive Director

In June, we wrapped up Marine Mammal Mayhem, kicked off our first round of Meet the Beach events, and ended the school year with K-12 beach field trips. The summer fun is just beginning!

The Estuarium is excited to bring back our Summer Shark Spree! Join us down at the Estuarium all summer long for JAWSOME shark-centric education and activities, including talks and demonstrations by our returning shark experts Sandy Zeiner and Dr. Dayv Lowry.

Meet the Beach is up and running. Be sure to check out our July schedule to find our dedicated Beach Naturalists at your favorite local beaches by clicking HERE . There’s nothing like exploring intertidal life on the beach during warm summer days. 
The weather is perfect for Pier Peer, and spots are filling up fast! Be sure to snag your tickets early for our upcoming Pier Peer events on July 10th and July 20th .
Have a JAWSOME July, and please keep your eyes out for our matching fundraising campaign coming this month!
Annual Benefit Cruise

Our annual benefit cruise is back again for its 11th year! Enjoy a day aboard My Girl celebrating our unique and beautiful estuary ecosystem. Expand your knowledge of Puget Sound’s majestic marine mammals with guest speaker Casey McLean, Executive Director of SR3 (Sealife Response, Rehabilitation and Research) , and Veterinary Nurse.
Complete with delicious food and a no host bar, you won’t want to miss this cherished annual event. Mix and mingle with old and new friends while sharing your love for the Puget Sound this September.
Ticket Details
Be sure to purchase your tickets before September 8th to receive our Early Bird special discount!

The Estuarium’s Summer Shark Spree is back again! Explore the amazing sharks of Puget Sound with shark specimen, including real shark teeth, jaws, and tails. Join us during our free admission days on July 27th and August 24th for hands on talks and dissections with shark experts Sandy Zeiner and Dr. Dayv Lowry. Come on down to the Estuarium for a JAWSOME time during our Summer Shark Spree!

Free Admission Days:

  • Saturday, July 27, 1:00 – 2:00 PM: Shark Talk and Dissection with Sandy Zeiner, Shellfish and Enforcement Policy Analyst of NW Indian Fisheries Commission
  • Saturday, August 24, 1:00 – 2:00 PM: Shark Talk and Hands-on Specimen with Dr. Dayv Lowry, Research Scientist of Department of Fish and Wildlife
New Newt Tank

Thanks to the hard work of our awesome Lead Aquartist, Sarah, and summer Intern and herpetology fanatic, Kailey, the Estuarium is introducing our new roughskinned newt tank!

Stop by the Estuarium to visit our two female newts, learn about their crucial role in estuary ecosystems, and discover their surprising adaptations.
K - 12 Education

Sun and warm weather can only mean one thing, beach field trips! With the support of grant funding from the Recreation Conservation Office, the Estuarium was able to offer free beach field trip until June 15th. The Estuarium hosted 14 free beach field trips to Priest Point Park, Burfoot Park, and Tolmie State Park. The Education Team served over 780 students, teaching participants about beach exploration and the marine environment.

Students learned about beach etiquette, how to properly hold crabs, and put their identification skills to the test while collecting biodiversity data. Most of the outdoor programs were catered to elementary students, many of whom had not experienced their local beaches. The field trips were blessed with marine creatures such as sculpin, jellies, crabs, anemone, and even porpoise! Students enjoyed a free trip to the beach while becoming stewards of the environment.

To learn more about field trips, please contact our Education Coordinator, Aeriel Wauhob, at A eriel@SSEAcenter.org
Meet the Beach

Meet the Beach is off to a great start with mild sunny weather and great low tides. July promises to be just as eventful. Come join us on your favorite local beaches to get your hands dirty searching for wonderful intertidal life!

Check out our June Meet the Beach schedule:
  • Thursday, July 4, 12:00 – 3:00 PM: Burfoot
  • Saturday, July 13, 10:00 – 1:00 PM: Woodard Bay
  • Saturday, July 13, 10:00 – 1:00 PM: Priest Point
  • Sunday, July 14, 10:00 – 1:00 PM: Tolmie
  • Sunday, July 14, 10:00 – 1:00 PM: Burfoot
  • Saturday, July 20, 2:00 – 5:00 PM: Frye Cove
  • Saturday, July 20, 2:00 – 5:00 PM: Woodard Bay
Pier Peer

Spring is in swing, Boston Harbor is warming up, and Pier Peer is still going strong! Come help us find nudibranch, shrimp, crabs, fish, seals, otters, and more! Roll your sleeves up and dig in with us some time…

Participants (Age 13 and older) - $10
Children (Age 12 and younger) - FREE

Upcoming Pier Peer Dates:

  • July 10, 8:00 - 9:30 PM: Click HERE to register
  • July 20, 8:00 - 9:30 PM: Click HERE to register

Register online using the links on our Facebook page or website!
Do you have a group (scouts, friends, family reunion, etc.) who you think would enjoy a fun evening discovering the underwater world of Puget Sound? Remember you can always schedule your own private Pier Peer event! Please email  PierPeer@SSEAcenter.org  for more information and to request a group inquiry form.
Volunteer Opportunities

Are you looking for ways to get involved? Here are a few coming up: 
  • July 10, 8:00 - 9:30 PM: Pier Peer at Boston Harbor Marina
  • July 20, 8:00 - 9:30 PM: Pier Peer at Boston Harbor Marina
  • July 31, All Day: Thurston County Fair tabling, Thurston County Fair Grounds
  • August 3, All Day : Thurston County Fair tabling, Thurston County Fair Grounds
  • Estuarium Open Hours: Every weekend at the Estuarium between 11:00 - 4:00 PM
  • Weekly Shifts: Husbandry volunteers at the Estuarium

Upcoming Field Trips:

  • July 16, 10:30 - 2:30 PM: Squaxin Island Field Trip, Priest Point Park

If you are interested in volunteering during these field trips, please contact our Education Coordinator, Aeriel Wauhob, at A eriel@SSEAcenter.org .

One of the best ways to get involved is to join an Estuarium Team! We currently have four teams (Education, Events, Exhibits, and Development). To join a team, please visit www.SSEAcenter.org/volunteer/teams/ for more information, fill out a volunteer application, and email Volunteer@SSEAcenter.org . We’d love to have you join us!
Laughs from Larry, the Spiny Lumpsucker

Q: How did the hammerhead do on his test?
A: He nailed it!

Spiny dogfish are one of the smallest species of shark, growing up to a maximum of 4.5 ft. Despite their small size, these sharks are aggressive and strategic predators, banning together in packs to catch prey two or three times its size. These tough little sharks also possess a pair of poisonous spikes near their dorsal fins, aiding in their protection against their predators such as orcas, other sharks, and seals. These sharks also hold a record for longest gestation period at nearly two years. 
Spiny dogfish are also skilled travelers. One shark that was tagged here in Washington wandered 5,000 miles to the coast of Japan. The spiny dogfish is truly small but mighty!
Stop by the Estuarium all summer long to explore more fin-tastic sharks of the Puget Sound during our Summer Shark Spree!

To submit your joke, email Center@SSEAcenter.org.
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 www.SSEAcenter.org/donate .
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! 

  • Nancy LaPointe Navigate Financial 
  • Kevin Gordham
  • Cynthia Worth Law Group
  • The Pet Works - Estuarium
  • 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:
  • Dawkins Charitable Trust
  • The Russell Family Foundation
  • WA Department of Fish and Wildlife
  • The Norcliffe Foundation
  • Pacific Coast Shellfish Growers Association
  • Nisqually Indian Tribe
  • The Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment
  • Rotary Club of Olympia
  • Olympia Yacht Club
  • The Squaxin Tribe