October 2019
Note from the Board President

In September, Estuarium friends old and new spent a wonderful rainy day aboard local yacht My Girl appreciating our amazing estuary ecosystem during our Annual Benefit Cruise. We have welcomed and trained new volunteers in animal husbandry and education work. Our Education Team prepared for our upcoming Estuary Life and Landforms filed trips. October is shaping up to be just as eventful!
This October come check out the creepy crawlers lurking in the Puget Sound during our Invertebrate Insanity rotating exhibit. Join us on October 26th and November 16th from 1:00 - 2:00 PM as our trained staff lead a dissection and explain the inner workings of these awesome creatures! Discover both familiar and alien-like creatures living right here in the Puget Sound. 
With fields trips for Estuary Life and Landforms, and Bayshore FieldSTEM on the horizon, our education team has been very busy. These two sets of ambitious field trips take a whole lot of work, and Estuarium volunteers are the foundation for the success of our K-12 education programs. Check out our upcoming volunteer opportunities to learn how you can support the Estuarium during this busy field trip season. 
Come join us down on the docks at Boston Harbor Marina for a special Halloween Pier Pier on October 31st from 6:00 - 7:00 PM . Fall is here, which means we will be hosting only one Pier Peer event a month instead of two. Spots fill up quickly so don’t miss your chance to grab your tickets today.
Thank you to our awesome local community, volunteers, staff, and board members who make the Estuarium a success.

Here's to a smooth transition into autumn!
Invertebrate Insanity

Discover the cool and creepy crawlers lurking in the Puget Sound during the Estuarium’s Invertebrate Insanity event! We’ll be exploring all kinds of animals that squirm in the mud and scurry on the sand, from soft-bodied saltwater worms and slugs to crunchy critters like crabs, clams, and shrimp.

Join us on October 26th and November 16th from 1:00 - 2:00 PM at the Estuarium to watch our trained staff dissect and explain what goes inside these awesome creatures. How do they move and eat? Do they see or hear? Learn how important benthic invertebrates are to our food chain, the names of our common Puget Sound invertebrates, and discover all the fascinating, familiar, and alien-like creatures living right here in the Puget Sound!

Free Admission Dissections dates:

  • Saturday, October 26th, 1:00 - 2:00 PM
  • Saturday, November 16th, 1:00 - 2:00 PM
K - 12 Education

For more than a century Olympia has been known for its oysters. Local 5th grade students are joining the Estuarium to learn the importance of these estuary staples. The Estuary Life and Landforms program aims to provide local school districts with hands-on learning about the Budd Inlet and Capital Lake historic shoreline and the human impacts of dredging.

Students use customized landform models to learn about the important roles sediment plays in an estuary and examine oysters to understand the filter feeders place in the estuary ecosystem. Participants recognize the changes that take place for estuary life when dredging occurs. After completing the lab investigation, students take a walking tour of the historic shoreline to witness how dredging and filling has impacted the downtown area and Olympia waterways.

If you would like to find out more about the Estuary Life and Landforms program or want to volunteer with the program, please email Aeriel Wauhob at Aeriel@SSEAcenter.org
Pier Peer

Come spend your Halloween with the Puget Sound Estuarium. We will be hosting our Pier Peer on October 31st at Boston Harbor Marina. Come help us find nudibranch, shrimp, crabs, fish, seals, and more creatures that lurk in our waters at night. Costumes are encouraged!

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

Upcoming Pier Peer Dates:

  • October 31, 6:00 - 7:30 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: 

  • October 10, 6:30 - 7:30 PM: Development Team Meeting, Estuarium
  • October 11, 9:00 - 2:00 PM: Bayshore FeildSTEM Volunteer Orientation, Estuarium
  • October 12, 1:00 - 2:00 PM: Invertebrate Insanity Dissection Day, Estuarium
  • October 15, 6:00 - 7:00 PM: Exhibits Team Meeting, Estuarium
  • October 23, 4:30 - 5:30 PM: Events Team Meeting, Estuarium
  • October 24, 6:30 - 7:30 PM: Education Team Meeting, Estuarium
  • October 31, 6:00 - 7:30 PM: Pier Peer, Boston Harbor Marina
  • November 16, 1:00 - 2:00 PM: Invertebrate Insanity Dissection Day, Estuarium
  • Estuarium Open Hours: Every weekend at the Estuarium between 11:00 - 4:00 PM
  • Weekly Shifts: Husbandry volunteers at the Estuarium

If you are interested in volunteering during these field trips, or becoming a contract educator, please contact our Education Coordinator, Aeriel Wauhob, at Aeriel@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: Why did the bird get a ticket?
A: It broke the law of gravity!

No estuary is complete without sea birds! One commonly found seafaring avian here in the Puget Sound is the marbled murrelet. This cute small seabird can be found throughout the year feeding on small fish and crustaceans. Though previously little was known about the nesting habits of these birds, researchers have discovered that the marbled murrelet moves inland to old growth forests to make their nests, where they will lay a single egg. 
Due to habitat threats, thriving populations of the marbled murrelet have become more and more sparse. The disappearance of old growth forests has presented itself as a leading cause of population decrease of the marbled murrelet. The timber industry is a valuable part of the economy of Washington State, so restoration efforts of this iconic sea bird will take sophisticated science and creative solutions. Click HERE to explore the Department of Natural Resources newly announced plan to protect the endangered marbled murrelet.

To submit your joke, email Center@SSEAcenter.org.

Photo Credit:
Juvenile Marbled Murrelet, Rich MacIntosh/USFWS
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
  • 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