November 2017
Note from the Executive Director

November is here, and it's a month to give thanks! We have so much to be grateful for at the Estuarium.

I am most thankful for our dedicated staff, board, volunteers, and donors who inspire community members to learn more about and protect the Puget Sound. It's only through their help that we can deliver our amazing programs like our K-12 Estuary Life and Landforms field trip that reached more than 440 fifth graders last month.

In this issue, we review that project, reveal a date for our Songs for SSEA event (March 10), invite you to the Estuarium for an event with a uthor Lou McKee of Klee Wyck Journal: the Making of a Wilderness Retreat on November 15th, announce new Pier Peer dates, and review our Discovery Speaker Series.

Thanks so much for reading! Keep your eyes out this month for some exciting news about how you can give back to our shared mission to inspire people of all ages to connect with, protect, and enjoy the unique estuary environment of Puget Sound!
Estuary Land and Lifeforms

In October, the Estuarium hosted 443 fifth graders and 72 adults through our Estuary Life and Landforms modules. Olympia School District fifth graders attended seven days and North Thurston students took part in the activities for two days. They got to dissect oysters donated by Taylor Shellfish, calculate the amount of dredge material filled in downtown Olympia, and participate in a walking tour of the historic shoreline.

The picture to the right is our amazing Estuarium Intern, Keziah Black, practicing her oyster dissection teaching skills. This new equipment - a new Binocular Stereo Microscope with camera - was secured through our WA Department Fish and Wildlife grant.

Students improved their knowledge from an average 3 items correct on pre-tests to an average 6 correct on the post-tests (out of 7 items). Comments from the teachers were positive: "Thank YOU for such a valuable field trip opportunity!! I can say with absolute confidence that as long as the opportunity exists, we will take advantage and include the Estuarium in our yearly plans."

This opportunity was available due our volunteers and a grant from the Pacific Coast Shellfish Growers Association , WDFW , and oysters donated by Taylor Shellfish . THANK YOU!
Songs for SSEA - Save the Date!

Save the Date - March 10th, 7 - 9:30 pm for the 4th Annual "Songs for SSEA" with Laura Lowe and the Mud Bay Blues Band. Click here for a sample . Event will be held at the Olympia Elks, 1818 4th Ave, Olympia, WA.
Program Updates

Did you know that November is National Novel Writing Month? Here at the Estuarium, we value writers and literacy so much that we have not just one, but two libraries in our building! Many of you have now seen our new-and-improved children's library, but have you ever checked out the David Jamison Memorial Reading Area in our back room? On the shelves you will find textbooks, field guides, travel essays, photo collections, and a healthy selection of historically important marine biology authors who have changed the world through their writing.

On November 15th at 7:00 PM the Estuarium is very excited to be hosting Lou McKee, author of the charming and beautifully illustrated Klee Wyck Journal: the Making of a Wilderness Retreat . Lou will be delivering a fun, engaging presentation and will have signed copies of the journal available for purchase after the event. Join us for this rare opportunity to meet such a talented local naturalist and writer.

The Estuarium provides excellent educational opportunities for all ages! If you would like to schedule a special visit to the Estuarium, please contact Taisha, Estuarium Manager, at
Pier Peer

It's getting darker outside - all the better for earlier Pier Peer events and night time viewing. We are implementing a new monthly regular schedule for the next three months, which will be the second Wednesday of the month at 5:00 PM. Check out this cool video of a bell medusa jelly we saw at the last Pier Peer by clicking HERE or on the photo!

Our next events are:
  • Wednesday, November 8 @ 5:00 PM – Click HERE to register.
  • Wednesday, December 13 @ 5:00 PM – Click HERE to register.
  • Wednesday, January 10 @ 5:00 PM – Click HERE to register.

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

Private Group Events – If you are interested in scheduling a private group visit, please email .
Discovery Speaker Series

October's Discovery Speaker Series was “Innovative Solutions to Stormwater Run-off” by Brandon Slone and Nathan Nadernicek, WADOT Stormwater Monitoring and Research Analysts.

At this presentation, WADOT explained how they are exploring new approaches for controlling heavy metals and other runoff from our highways. The test sites are in Lakewood, Olympia's Mottman Industrial Park, and Geiger Field near Spokane. WADOT uses ponds, berms, and biological mats to absorb and accelerate decay of water polluting materials. Their studies document the percent change/retention of a variety of substances with the goal of decreasing the amount of pollution. The best methods will then be replicated elsewhere in the state. 

NEXT UP November 16: “Stormwater: Our Local Solutions” with presenters: Amy Georgeson, Tumwater Water Resources Specialist; Joe Roush, Olympia Environmental Services Supervisor; and Doug Christianson, Lacey Water Resources Engineer. Refreshments provided by Washington Foundation for the Environment.

The Discovery Speaker Series is the 3rd Thursday from September to April, excluding December, from 7:00-8:30 PM at WET Science Center, 500 Adams St. NE, Olympia WA. Doors open at 6:30 PM.
Laughs from Larry, the Spiny Lumpsucker

Q: Why did the tide pool join a gym?
A: Because it wanted bigger mussels!

Mussels are a type of mollusc known as a bivalve. They are related to clams, oysters, geoducks, and other bivalves, as well as snails, octopuses, and chitons. Mussel colonies are major features in protected marine waters of the Pacific Northwest. Come learn more about mussels and other molluscs at the Estuarium during our open hours (Sat & Sun 11 AM - 4 PM).

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! 
  • Nancy LaPointe Navigate Financial 
  • Kevin Gordham
  • Cynthia Worth Law Group
  • The Pet Works - Estuarium
  • LOTT's WET Science Center - Discovery Speaker Series
  • 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
  • The Norcliffe Foundation
  • Pacific Shellfish Growers Association
  • Nisqually Indian Tribe
  • The Community Foundation of South Puget Sound
  • US Fish and Wildlife