June 2018
Note from the Executive Director

May flew by in the blink of an eye, and summer is nearly here!

Marine Mammal May was a success! Thank you to all who came by to celebrate native marine mammals with us! For those who didn’t get a chance to see Casey Mclean from SR3 in her presentation of “SR3 : Building Washington’s First Marine Wildlife Rehabilitation and Science Center,” please visit their site to see the great work this organization is doing!

Thank you to all who stopped by our booth at the 2018 Lacey STEM Fair last month! Families and adults from across Thurston County flocked to Huntamer Park to check out lines of STEM related booths. Using our Enviroscape, made possible by the Washington Foundation for the Environment, we invited kids to learn about the ways pollutants enter our waterways. With additional activities, such as a spin wheel mask painting, and a shark tooth dig, we educated nearly 600 people in just a few hours!

Our Education Team has wrapped up this year’s "On The Water" program. While they’re all enjoying fresh tans (and maybe a few sunburns), we congratulate and thank the volunteers and staff who work hard to make these field trips possible! 

As the weather continues to grow more beautiful, the Estuarium knows you’re looking for every opportunity to get outside. Luckily, our first Meet the Beach Low Tide day is just around the corner! Come on down to Burfoot or Tolmie park on Friday the 15th to meet with our new and veteran Beach Naturalists.

June Pier Peer dates have been announced, and with the weather keeping up, we expect tickets to go quickly. Don’t miss your chance to discover what lurks beneath the pier! Register for our June 19th and June 30th Pier Peer events early.

The Estuarium thanks you for your continued support! Keep an eye out for all of our summer happenings!
Program Updates


The Estuarium is always evolving. From our new shellfish exhibit, to our limited time marine mammal exhibit, staff is always kept on their toes. But one new addition has us all especially excited. We welcome Alga, our feisty new resident Kelp Crab! Alga is small, but seems to enjoy lofty perches and hanging out at the very top of the tank. He frequently shows off his impressive acrobatic skills as he clings to pipes and driftwood.

You can visit Alga and say "hello" to all our other animal ambassadors every weekend during Estuarium open hours, Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM. Come see what's new!

If you would like to schedule a field trip at the Estuarium, please email for more information.
Powerful Partner

The Estuarium and our #powerfulpartner Puget Sound Energy are always looking for opportunities to save energy. While the sun is out, and we don't have to think too much about heating, now is the perfect time to start thinking about energy saving bulbs!

From June 2nd through July 27th, you can find great discounts on LEDs from Greenlite at participating stores!

Offers include :
  • A-lamp LED (60- or 75-watt equivalent) 2-pack for $1.98
  • Reflector LED 2-pack for $1.98
For a full list of participating stores, please visit :
K - 12 Education

Boat field trips, beach field trips, and birthday parties, oh my!
Our 2018 On The Water program was a smashing success. A total of 300 sixth through eighth grade students and 43 adults joined us for a morning or afternoon of fun, interactive marine science stations aboard the stunning My Girl . Teachers and students had wonderful things to say about their experience:

“The program just keeps on getting better every year”

“That trip still reigns as the best field trip I get to take students on”

For some students, it was their first time on a boat, and it was definitely a life changing experience for a few. Kuddos to our great instructors for keeping the lesson engaging while teaching it eight times in a row!
May has also started to bring us some great low tides, which provide great opportunities for K-12 students to explore our local inter-tidal life during our K-12 Meet the Beach field trips starting early June.
Estuarium staff also had the pleasure of hosting one of a kind private birthday parties recently. Are you interesting in planning a unique party experience with us?

For questions, further details, or to schedule a private party/event, please contact our Education Coordinator at .
Meet the Beach

2018 Beach Naturalist training is complete! This year, we are glad to introduce 18 new volunteers, and welcome back our veteran Beach Naturalists. We had an amazing series of presentations by some very talented science experts - thanks to all who participated! We always value the thoughtful information brought forward during our training sessions and are excited to practice our new knowledge throughout the 2018 Meet the Beach season! We are all looking forward to the official kick off of the 2018 Meet the Beach season on Friday, June 15th, from 12:00 - 3:00 PM at Tolmie and Burfoot Park.
Pier Peer

Pier Peer has been crawling with new critters. We've seen nudibranchs, shrimp, siphonophores, lots of jellyfish, crabs, and tons of elusive fish! May blessed us with a great turnout and wonderful weather. We have good reason be excited for Pier Peer events in June! Come join us on warm summer nights to peer into the sea!

And remember, if you know a group (scouts, friends, family reunion, etc.) who you think would enjoy a fun evening discovering the underwater world of Puget Sound, Pier Peer events are available for booking.

Please email for more information and to request a group inquiry form.

Come join us for the following Pier Peer events!

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

Q: Did you hear about the crab that went to the disco?
A: He pulled a mussel!

The Estaurium has a new Kelp Crab! These creatures are a part of a group of long legged crabs called Spider Crabs. With long spindly legs and dark red brown bodies mimicking the hues rockweed and turkish towel, kelp crab is no misnomer!

These animals are mainly herbivores eating bits of brown and red algae during the summer season, but veer towards eating small mussels and barnacles during the winter when algae isn’t in abundance. They can grow up to about four inches long and female kelp crabs can lay up to 84,000 eggs!

Join us at our upcoming Meet the Beach dates to try and spot these critters during extreme low tides, and come on down to the Estuarium to meet our new kelp crab, Alga!

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