June 2019
Note from the Executive Director

In May, we filled our wishy-washy spring days with On the Water field trips, finished up our Beach Naturalist training sessions, and explored crafty creatures hiding under the docks at Pier Peer. With summer on the horizon, we are gearing up for even more great events in June!
Join us for a another month dedicated to the iconic marine mammals of Puget Sound during our Marine Mammal Mayhem! Come on down to the Estuarium during open hours to check out cool marine mammal specimens from MaST and Cascadia Research Collective all month long.
On the Water was a huge success! With our dedicated staff and volunteers, we educated over 300 students aboard the local yacht, My Girl . Join us in thanking our Education Team for all the hard work they do to make this annual field trip possible.
We are excited to welcome our new and veteran Beach Naturalists back to our Meet the Beach program starting in June! Find them identifying amazing estuary critters on our local beaches during low-tide. Click HERE for our full Meet the Beach schedule.
Warm late spring evenings have greeted us at Pier Peer, and we can’t wait for our next event. Join us down on the docks today on June 4th or June 15th to discover what lurks beneath the pier!
Happy June from all of us here at the Estuarium!
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!

Marine Mammal Mayhem is in full swing! Stop on by the Estuarium to explore the iconic marine mammals of the Puget Sound. Try your hand at putting together a mystery marine mammal skeleton with our “Bones in a Bucket” activity from MaST and check out cool specimen from Cascadia .

Join us for a whale of a time during or Marine Mammal Mayhem rotating exhibit throughout June!
K - 12 Education

The Puget Sound Estuarium had another great season of On The Water! This program brings students to Budd Inlet with the help of the boat, My Girl .

This year, students loaded the boat at the Olympia Yacht Club for a morning or afternoon of interactive learning stations. The boat cruised the water of Budd Inlet to Boston Harbor and back. The trips were graced with sightings of bald eagles, white pelicans, harbor seals, sea lions, and a sea otter!

Local middle and high school students viewed marine life samples and recorded their adaptations at the Marine Biodiversity station. At Water Quality, participants tested the Budd Inlet waters for different indicators and generated a list of possible pollutants. At the Pollution and Ocean Acidification station, students learned about microplastics and how air pollution affects our estuaries. With the help of microscopes, participants were able to identify different species of plankton and explore Puget Sound food chains at the Food Webs and Plankton station.

Over the course of eight days, the Puget Sound Estuarium educated over 330 students and adults with the help of volunteers and educators!

To learn more about the On The Water or become an educator for the program, please contact our Education Coordinator, Aeriel Wauhob, at A eriel@SSEAcenter.org
Meet the Beach

Meet the Beach programs are coming up soon- our first events will be on June 15th at Burfoot County Park and Tolmie State Park from 10:00 AM -1:00 PM! So grab your Discover Pass and join us in your public lands to learn about all the beauty on the beach!

Check out our June Meet the Beach schedule:
  • Saturday, June 15, 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM: Tolmie
  • Saturday, June 15, 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM: Burfoot
  • Saturday, June 29, 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM: Priest Point
  • Sunday, June 30, 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM: Burfoot
  • Sunday, June 30, 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM: Tolmie
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:

  • June 4, 8:00 - 9:30 PM: Click HERE to register
  • June 15, 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: 
  • June 15, 8:00 - 9:30 PM: Pier Peer at Boston Harbor Marina
  • Estuarium Open Hours: Every weekend at the Estuarium between 11:00 - 4:00 PM
  • Weekly Shifts: Husbandry volunteers at the Estuarium

Upcoming Field Trips:

  • June 5, 11:00 - 12:30 PM: Woodland Elementary 1st Grade Beach Field Trip, Tolmie
  • June 7, 9:30 - 11:00 PM: Club Pierce Estuarium Field Trip, Estuarium
  • June 7, 9:30 - 11:00 PM: Southside Elementary Beach Field Trip, Priest Point
  • June 7, 12:00 - 1:30 PM: Southside Elementary Estuarium Field Trip, Estuarium

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: What did the seal study in school?
A: Art Art Art Art!
Harbor Seals are one of the most abundant marine mammals found in the Puget Sound. Often seen with their heads bobbing just above water, these creatures are shy, cunning, and highly curious. While they appear clumsy on land, flopping and bouncing about, these animals are efficient swimmers built for quick underwater hunting. Their bodies have a number of adaptations to withstand deep dives under pressure, such as a flexible ribs and collapsible lungs.

Harbor seals are also among many marine mammals that are prone to entanglement. If you spot a harbor seal in danger, be sure to report it to the appropriate entanglement teams HERE .

Join us on our annual fundraising cruise this September to learn about Washington’s first marine mammal rescue center and how they care for injured and entangled marine mammals throughout the Puget Sound with Casey McLean, Executive Director of SR3 .

Also, join us throughout June for more marine mammal education at the Estuarium during our Marine Mammal Mayhem special exhibit!

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
  • WA Recreation and Conservation Office
  • 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