November 2018
Note from the Executive Director

As the leaves turn from green to yellow and the temperature drops, we are bundling up at the Estuarium with the estuary critters. Join us tonight (November 7th) for our Annual Meeting from 6:00 - 7:00 PM at 309 State Ave NE to share our 2018 accomplishments and 2019 plans. Also, please save the date for our Turn of the Tides celebration on December 15th at the Estuarium.

In Ocean Acidification October, we taught community members about the issue at OysterFest in Shelton and hosted an Ocean Acidification event at the Estuarium. A big thank you to Mason County for the warm welcome and our amazing outreach volunteers for braving the rain. Our Education Team also began Estuary Life & Landforms and FieldSTEM Bayshore field trips. Melody Upton, our wonderful Education Coordinator, and her trustee team of educators will continue to meet on the beach and in the Estuarium with students from the Olympia and Shelton school districts.

Our next Discovery Speaker Series event is just around the bend! Join us next Thursday, the 15th, from 7:00 - 8:30 PM at LOTT’s Wet Science center for “Life & Loss in the Puget Sound: A Sneak Peak at Search & Rescue” by Lt. Lindsey M. Nuemann from the United States Coast Guard for valuable information on how to stay safe at sea. You won’t want to miss it!

We had an exciting new addition at our last Pier Peer! Thank you to Matt Balder for bringing along his amazing Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) and showing us some of our favorite critters right under the pier. Our next Pier Peer events will be November 13th and December 11th from 6:30 - 8:30 PM at the Boston Harbor Marina.

As we enter the holiday season, please start planning to renew your membership or make a gift so we can continue providing high quality environmental education. We will be kicking off our matching campaign again this year on Giving Tuesday, November 27, 2018. We are also currently participating in the Give Local campaign with the Community Foundation of South Puget Sound (click here or the button below). Thank you for your continued support of the Estuarium!

The Estuarium is gearing up for winter! During this time, we’d like to reflect on our wonderful community - from our hard working volunteers, board, and staff, to our community partners who never cease in their love of the Puget Sound. We can’t thank the Estuarium community enough!

Join us this today, Wednesday, November 7th, from 6:00 - 7:00 PM, for the Estuarium’s Annual Meeting. Light refreshments will be available as we review the year and look to what’s ahead for the Estuarium. Come meet the new staff, connect with other Estuarium friends, and celebrate a year of hard work and long strides!

On December 15th, from 11:00 - 4:00 PM, the Estuarium will be hosting our Turn of the Tides event! Our Turn of the Tides event celebrates local environmental and educational organizations who influence our communities and the wonderful artisans who embody what it means to be a community built by the sound. Come on down and celebrate this special time of year with us!
K - 12 Education

This October, our educators and volunteers have been busy sharing their passion and knowledge to over 400 fifth grade students from the Olympia School District during our Estuary Life & Landforms field trips. Our many thanks to PCSGA for making these field trips possible and to Taylor Shellfish for donating over 200 oysters for our oyster dissections!

We are also halfway through our FieldSTEM® field trips at Bayshore Preserve in Shelton for Olympic Middle School 7th graders in partnership with the Capitol Land Trust, Pacific Education Institute, and Shelton School District.
We are excited to announce that our School Estuary kits have already reached over 300 students. If you are interested in using any one of our School Estuary Kits, please click HERE.
Discovery Speaker Series

During the long, cold days of winter, the Estuarium is proud to partner with LOTT's Wet Science Center to bring another spark of science into Olympia!

Our next Discover Speaker Series is not far away. Come learn about how the Coast Guard conducts search and rescue and learn safety tips that could save your life someday!

Join us at Wet Science Center on Thursday, November 15th, from 7:00 – 8:30 PM, for a harrowing talk by Lt. Lindsey M. Neumann about how the United States Coast Guard stays safe, and how you can too. Check out our flyer for the entire series schedule HERE .  The Estuarium’s Discovery Speaker Series is a free event hosted at LOTT’s Wet Science Center on selected third Thursdays.

For more information, please visit:
Pier Peer

It certainly has cooled off a bit, but Pier Peer is still full of excitement! We had the pleasure of having Matt Balder bring his ROV to Pier Peer! We saw beautiful creatures up close thanks to this handy little machine- check out some of the cool videos HERE ! Our seal friend has been visiting again, sneaking squid when he thinks we won’t notice…but we definitely see him! Check this silly seal out on the dock in this photo to the right! We also have seen several species of nudibranch, jellyfish, many kinds of beautiful shrimp, and even a little bit of late season bioluminescence. 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:
  • Nov 13, 6:30 - 8:30 PM: Click HERE for register
  • Dec 11, 6:30 - 8:30 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  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: 
  • General Volunteer Training: Nov 29, 7:00 - 8:00 PM. Contact
  • Discovery Speaker Series: Nov 15, Jan 17, & Feb 21, 7:00 - 8:30 PM
  • Pier Peer: Nov 13 & Dec 11, 6:30 - 8:30 PM
  • Estuarium Open Hours: Every weekend at the Estuarium between 11:00 - 4:00 PM

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 for more information, fill out a volunteer application, and email . We’d love to have you join us!
Laughs from Larry, the Spiny Lumpsucker

Q: Why did the acid and base go to the gym?
A: To become a buffer solution!

Ocean Acidification is the ongoing decrease in the pH of the Earth's oceans, caused by the uptake of carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) from the atmosphere.

Acidic water makes it difficult for plankton and marine organisms to make their shells. Some shellfish growers had to add a basic buffer solution to Puget Sound water in order to grow oysters many people love to eat. Washington State is the largest producer of hatchery-reared and farmed shellfish in the U.S, with more than 300 farms accounting for 25% of the total domestic production by weight and an annual farmgate value exceeding $108 million.
To submit your joke, email
Powerful Partnerships - Save the Puget Sound and Your $$$

This year, we partnered with PSE to protect the Puget Sound by reducing our carbon footprint. Decreasing energy use reduces ocean acidification and leaves more money in your wallet for the holidays! Prepare for the cold weather ahead with a free Puget Sound Energy home assessment. A PSE service partner will help you find inefficiencies in your home, give information about rebates, and even replace up to 30 lights in your home with LEDs.

If you didn't know, when you log onto your PSE account and click on "My Usage," you can compare your energy use with last year as well as with your neighbors, get great tips to reduce heating, and customize a plan to save energy and money.

By taking preventative steps now, you can make your energy work smarter not harder this winter and work toward reducing your carbon footprint! Visit for more information.
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:
  • Dawkins Charitable Trust
  • The Russell Family Foundation
  • WA Department of Fish and Wildlife
  • WA Recreation and Conservation Office
  • 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