October 2018
Note from the Executive Director

 October is here, the school year is back in full swing, and the cold weather is starting to move in. Don't worry though, the Estuarium has indoor activities covered this October as well outdoor programs for those of us excited to brave the cold!

It’s Ocean Acidification October at the Estuarium! With the help of our #powerfulpartners at Puget Sound Energy, we are excited to introduce “Ways the Make a Difference” and “Ocean Acidification” exhibits. Join us on October 20th for a free day at the Estuarium in honor of our new exhibits and a talk from Puget Sound Energy on energy efficiency and reducing your carbon footprint.
Community outreach event season is officially over! The Estuarium was glad to be present at both the Nisqually Watershed Festival and OysterFest in Shelton. Over the course of summer and fall, we've connected with around 3,000 people! Thank you to all our volunteers who made these events possible. We truly couldn’t have done it without you!
Our Education Team is hard at work educating students from local middle schools both inside the Estuarium and on our local beaches. We wish good luck to our staff and volunteers on their upcoming Estuary Life and Landforms (ELL) and Bayshore field trips! If you’re interested in a free 90 minute field trip for your class or youth group, click HERE for our Group Inquiry form.
Our first Discovery Speaker Series is just around the corner! Join us this upcoming Thursday, the 18th at LOTT’s Wet Science Center for “What’s Hiding in Your Catch? The Marine Biotoxins of Puget Sound” by Audrey Coyne, Marine Biotoxin Coordinator, Shellfish Licensing & Certification, at the Office of Environmental Health & Safety.
New Pier Peer dates have been announced. Meet us on the pier at Boston Harbor Marina on October 16th and November 13th from 6:30 - 8:30 PM for an evening filled with creature identification.
There’s so much to look forward to this October, we can’t wait to share it all with you!
Volunteer Opportunities

Are you looking for ways to get involved? Here are a few opportunities coming up: 

  • Estuary Land and Lifeforms Education Trips: October 1 -19
  • Discovery Speaker Series Media Team: Oct 18, Nov 15, Jan 17, Feb 21, 7:00 – 8:30 PM
  • Pier Peer: Oct 16 & Nov 13           

One of the best ways to get involved is to join an Estuarium team! We currently have three teams (Education, Events, and Development). If there is interest, we would like to start an Exhibits team. To join a team, please visit for more information, fill out a volunteer application, and email . We’d love to have you join us! 

It’s Ocean Acidification October at the Estuarium! Join us for a month dedicated to learning the causes and effects of ocean acidification, and how we can all do our part to reduce our contributions to it.

While Ocean Acidification October may only be a month long, the Estuarium is excited to debut two new permanent exhibits made possible by our #powerfulpartners at Puget Sound Energy.

Come explore our new “Ways to Make a Difference” exhibit featuring our messy, interactive enviroscape and wonderful tips and resources to help you reduce your carbon footprint. And while you’re at it, learn the ins and out of ocean acidification with our ocean acidification science experiment!

Join us October 20th for a free admission day along with a wonderful Puget Sound Energy talk on getting the most out of your energy usage and reducing your carbon footprint from 1:00 - 2:00 PM!
K - 12 Education

The 2018-2019 school year is in full swing and Estuarium educators have been hard at work prepping and training for our many fall field trip opportunities!

This fall, our educators and volunteers are busy sharing their passion and knowledge to 5th grade students from the Olympia School District during our Estuary Life and Landforms field trips.

We are also very excited to announce we are teaming up with the Capitol Land Trust, Pacific Education Institute, and Shelton School District to host Olympic Middle School 7th graders through FieldSTEM® field trips at Bayshore Preserve in Shelton this fall.
Have you reserved your School Estuary Kit yet?
The Puget Sound Estuarium is excited to pilot twenty estuary themed kits for grades 6th - 8th starting Fall 2018. All kits include enough materials for a group of 30 students, and the content is designed for age appropriate learning. The School Estuary Kits support the following educational standards: Next Generation Science Standards, STEM Literacy, and Estuary Principles & Concepts.

To learn more about our various School Estuary Kits and logistics, please visit our School Estuary Kits web page by CLICKING HERE .
If interested in using our School Estuary Kits, complete the Inquiry Form HERE and return to the Education Coordinator at
Discovery Speaker Series

During the long, cold days of winter, the Estuarium is proud to partner with the LOTT's Wet Science Center to bring a spark of science into Olympia! Join us at the Wet Science center for an evening of learning about the various forms of life that call Puget Sound home.

For more information, please visit:
Pier Peer

As the summer slowly cools down, Pier Peer is already starting to see changes! Seals have been making surprising and exciting appearances alongside the dock as the silvers start to run, and an elusive squid or two have been spotted!

Earlier sunsets means more reasonable bedtimes, something certainly appreciated by volunteers and visitors alike! Recently, we have spotted many pipefish, a few beautiful nudibranch, one ENORMOUS lion's mane jellyfish, a couple of multicolored shrimp, and one beautiful, tiny, completely transparent sand dab! Bring a warm jacket, roll your sleeves up, and dig in with us some time!

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!

To schedule a private Pier Peer please fill out a group inquiry form and send to

Come join us on the pier!
Participants (Age 13 and older) – $10
Children (Age 12 and younger) – FREE
Laughs from Larry, the Spiny Lumpsucker

Q: What's in the middle of a jelly?
A: A jelly button!

Mesmerizing moon jellies are found in nearly all sea waters within 48 - 66 degrees Fahrenheit and grow up to 15 inches long. Though they transport passively using the contractions of their bell and gently riding currents, moon jellies are surprisingly effective predators. 

Moon jellies are carnivorous creatures that feed on a wide range of species including plankton, crabs, shrimp, and fish eggs. Their stinging nematocysts aid in capturing prey and even tangling them in the process.

These jellies can be identified by their horse shoe shaped gonads which form the iconic flower in its otherwise transparent body.
Fun Fact: A group of jellies is called a smack!
To submit your joke, email
Powerful Partnerships - A Bright Idea

We are excited to have PSE as a partner this year for our Making A Difference exhibit. One way you can make a difference is to change your light bulbs to more energy efficient LED bulbs. B e sure to stop by participating The Home Depot stores for Philips LED light bulbs at as low as 99 cents/bulb. Offers good from Oct. 6 to Nov. 30, 2018. For a list of participating stores, visit .
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