May 2019
Note from the Executive Director

The sky is starting to clear, and May is finally here! April was awash in not only rain, but many field trips, amazing Pier Peer events, and awesome shellfish inspired education, art, and food. Now that we’ve rolled into May, there’s even more to be excited for.

Stop by the Estuarium now through the end of June for amazing education inspired by the iconic marine mammals of the Puget Sound in our Marine Mammal Mayhem special exhibit. With cool specimens from Cascadia Research Collective and the Marine and Science & Technology (MaST) Center , you won’t want to miss the fun!

Our Education Team has been busy with field trips for K-12 students. This month we are excited to offer North Thurston Public Schools our unique "On the Water" field trip. Students get to tour Budd Inlet while learning about biodiversity, food webs, plankton, ocean acidification, and water pollution.

Outreach events are quickly approaching! The Estuarium can only make these events possible with the help of our wonderful volunteers and staff. Help spread the word about the Estuarium by signing up for an outreach event.

Summer weather is drawing near, and we are all eagerly awaiting one of our most popular programs, Meet the Beach. Keep an eye out for upcoming Meet the Beach days starting in June. Our schedule is listed below in this edition.

Our next Pier Peer event is just around the corner. Be sure to register while there’s still space for our May 9th Pier Peer !

Happy May from all of us here at the Estuarium!
Program & Volunteer Coordinator Job Announcement
Board Member Applications

Program and Volunteer Coordinator - Lead our Meet the Beach and Pier Peer programs! Help the public find and identify Puget Sound animals. Recruit and manage volunteers, community members who make our work possible. Click HERE for the job description. Applications are due May 19th, 2019. Please email Sasha(at)SSEAcenter.org your cover letter, resume, and any other relevant application materials.

Board Members - The Puget Sound Estuarium is seeking applicants to serve on its Board of Directors. Having marine/estuary knowledge or previous experience serving on non-profit boards is not required. Each member of the Board of Directors serves a three-year term. Responsibilities include thoughtful participation in monthly Board meetings, service, and support of the Estuarium in a variety of tasks and events.
If you are interested, please submit any questions and/or a letter of interest and resume to board@SSEAcenter.org . The Board will review all nominations to ensure their eligibility and contact selected applicants for an informal interview.

It’s time to celebrate marine mammals at the Estuarium! Join us May - June to explore the iconic marine mammals of the Puget Sound. Try your hand at organizing harbor seal bones into a complete skeleton with “Bones in a Bucket” from Highline College’s MaST Center. Learn about otters and magical harbor porpoises living in our estuaries with specimen from the Cascadia Research Collective. It’s no question that our estuaries are famous for our beautiful marine mammals. Come celebrate these well loved creatures during our Marine Mammal Mayhem!
We'd like to congratulate our Lead Interpreter, Sarah, on her new Lead Aquarist position here at the Estuarium! Sarah is a wonderfully skilled Lead Interpreter and Aquarist, who has so much to bring to our organization. Sarah is looking for animal husbandry volunteers. If you'd like to feed animals and clean tanks, please email Aquarist@SSEAcenter.org.
K - 12 Education

The Estuarium partnered with Capitol Land Trust and the North Thurston Public Schools to host 3rd grade students from Lydia Hawk Elementary for a new program at the Inspiring Kids Preserve. Over the course of two days, nearly 80 students and 18 adults participated in the hands-on pilot program. Students and chaperones alike had the opportunity to explore the forest floor for bugs, test their eye spy skills finding animal homes, compare animal adaptations, and learn how the animals and plant on the Preserve are connected.

The new collaborative program highlights the various ecosystems and animals protected on the newly acquired parcels of land. Inspiring Kid Preserve is on Henderson Inlet where Capitol Land Trust acquired 108 acres of diverse natural habitat with a mile of Puget Sound shoreline. The Preserve encompasses an established second-growth forest, marine shoreline, wetlands, salt marsh, a homestead, and history connecting to the surrounding community.

The students would not have been able to explore the diverse habitats at the Inspiring Kids Preserve and learn about local conservation if it weren’t for our amazing volunteers. Thank you to our 15 volunteers, who donated over 300 hours to making this programs such a success!

Have you scheduled your end of school year field trip yet? The Puget Sound Estuarium is offering FREE 90 min K-12 beach field trips until June 15, 2019. If you are interested in our FREE beach field trip, complete the Inquiry Form, found HERE , and return to the Education Coordinator at Education@SSEAcenter.org.  
Meet the Beach

Are you going to the beach and want to know more about the amazing creatures that live in Puget Sound? The Estuarium’s Meet the Beach program has volunteers on the beach during summer low-tides. Find our dedicated team of volunteers sporting green vests and hats labeled “Beach Naturalist,” they are looking to answer your questions about inter-tidal life and habitats! If you see us out there, make sure to stop and say “hi”! 

Check out our Meet the Beach 2019 schedule:
Burfoot Park
  • Saturday, June 15, 10:00 – 1:00 PM
  • Sunday, June 30, 10:00 – 1:00 PM
  • Thursday, July 4, 12:00 – 3:00 PM
  • Sunday, July 14, 10:00 – 1:00 PM
  • Saturday, August 3, 1:00 – 4:00 PM
  • Sunday, August 4, 1:00 – 4:00 PM

Tolmie State Park
  • Saturday, June 15, 10:00 – 1:00 PM
  • Sunday, June 30, 10:00 – 1:00 PM
  • Sunday, July 14, 10:00 – 1:00 PM
  • Saturday, August 3, 1:00 – 4:00 PM
  • Sunday, August 4, 1:00 – 4:00 PM
Frye Cove
  • Saturday, July 20, 2:00 – 5:00 PM
  • Saturday, August 17, 1:00 – 4:00 PM

Woodard Bay
  • Saturday, July 13, 10:00 – 1:00 PM
  • Saturday, July 20, 2:00 – 5:00 PM
  • Sunday, August 18, 1:00 – 4:00 PM

Priest Point
  • Saturday, June 29, 10:00 – 1:00 PM
  • Saturday, July 13, 10:00 – 1:00 PM
  • Saturday, August 17, 1:00 – 4:00 PM
  • Sunday, August 18, 1:00 – 4:00 PM
Pier Peer

Boston Harbor is warming up, and Pier Peer is still going strong. Come help us find nudibranch, shrimp, crabs, fish, seals, and more! Bring a warm jacket, 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:

  • May 9, 8:00 - 9:30 PM: Click HERE to register
  • June 4, 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: 
  • May 20, 10:00 - 1:30 PM: McKenna 4th Grade Beach Field Trip
  • Estuarium Open Hours: Every weekend at the Estuarium between 11:00 - 4:00 PM
  • Weekly Shifts: Husbandry volunteers at the Estuarium

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 do you call a pod of musical whales?
A: An Orca-stra!

Many orcas call the Puget Sound home, but the struggles they face spread well beyond our corner of Washington. One of the biggest obstacles for Southern Resident Orcas are a lack of access to salmon, their main food source. Declining salmon populations aren't isolated to Washington’s rivers, but are also observed throughout surrounding states. The Snake River is currently a large target for salmon restoration efforts. Improving the health of the Puget Sound and the wonderful animals who live in our estuaries is truly a multi-state effort.

Helping salmon succeed during migration is a great way to help our estuaries! Check our Survive the Sound to see how salmon migrate in real time. Sign up, pick your favorite fish, and watch to see whether it's able to complete migration by clicking HERE.

Join us throughout May and 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
  • Rotary Club of Olympia
  • Olympia Yacht Club
  • The Squaxin Tribe