September 2019
Note from the Executive Director

August was a packed month filled with sun-soaked events for the Estuarium! We wrapped up the last days of our popular Meet the Beach program, marking another wonderful year of intertidal exploration on the beach for the people in our community. We can’t thank our dedicated Beach Naturalists enough for all the hard work they put in over the summer! 
We were lucky to have yet another exciting Shark Talk with Dr. Dayv Lowry at our last Summer Shark Spree event as well. Here’s a big thanks to Dr. Lowry for continuing to provide awesome shark education this August. 
If you’re looking for a way to wrap up your summer, look no further than the Estuarium’s Annual Benefit Cruise! Early bird specials won’t last must longer, so be sure to grab your tickets today. You won’t want to miss an amazing day on the sound complete with good food, great company, and guest speaker Casey Mclean, marine veterinary technician and Executive Director of SR3 (Sealife Response, Rehabilitation and Research).  
Our Education team is busy as bees preparing for back to school field trips. Volunteers and contract educators are the backbone of our education team, so please to check in for participation opportunities as school is back in session. 
Meet the Beach may be over for the year, but warm summer nights are still a blast at Pier Peer! Come and soak in the last bit of summer with us down on the docks to see some underwater marine life at Boston Harbor Marina on September 21st from 7:00 - 8:30 PM
Here’s to a beautiful late summer!
Estuarium Seeks Part Time Executive Director

Sasha Medlen, the Estuarium's Executive Director for three years has accepted a new position with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. We are grateful for the many skills she shared that strengthened the work of the Estuarium in our community. Good luck with your future endeavors, Sasha! We will miss you!.

Executive Director  
The Executive Director is the internal leader and external voice of the Estuarium. The position works with the Board of Directors on strategic planning and is responsible for implementing the Estuarium's goals and programming. The Executive Director forges partnerships, promotes the Estuarium and seeks opportunities for collaboration throughout the community.

The position currently oversees four part-time employees who coordinate education programs, outreach, volunteers, and our interpretive facility. The Executive Director also arranges contract staffing as needed for events, education, and facility maintenance. The Executive Director drafts an annual budget, reviews funding needs, and works with the Board and volunteer teams on education, outreach, fundraising, grants and events.

The Estuarium looks for a leader who will connect with local partners, expand relationships with sponsors and donors, and work with the Board of Directors to implement our mission and expand our long-term vision. This position does not require a marine sciences background.

To see a full job description for the Estuarium's Executive Director Position, click HERE .

How to Apply  
Qualified candidates should send a cover letter and resume, via e-mail, to  Board@SSEAcenter.org  by September 9, 2019. Applications will be reviewed upon receipt. All candidates will receive a response.
Annual Benefit Cruise

Our annual benefit cruise is quickly approaching! Enjoy a day aboard My Girl celebrating our unique and beautiful estuary ecosystem. Expand your knowledge of Puget Sound’s majestic marine mammals with guest speaker Casey McLean, Executive Director of SR3 (Sealife Response, Rehabilitation and Research) , and Veterinary Nurse.
Complete with delicious food and a no host bar, you won’t want to miss this cherished annual event. Mix and mingle with old and new friends while sharing your love for the Puget Sound this September.
Ticket Details
Be sure to purchase your tickets before September 8th to receive our Early Bird special discount!
K - 12 Education

The Estuarium had a unique opportunity to host beach field trips for 3 exchange groups. The students, ages 10-17, came from Korea and China to participate in an English learning program with South Puget Sound Community College. For many, this was their first time in the United States and most spoke little to no English. Although most of the students could not understand many of words used to describe their new environment, curiosity and intrigue about our natural world was a universal language. 

Each field trip started with an interactive Enviroscape lesson on stormwater runoff and pollution. Participants were excited to add “dog poop” to the city landscape and were all too happy to “make it rain” causing the pollution to concentrate in the waterways. The students had seen this before in their own towns and understood the necessity of picking up litter. Afterwards, the students learned the importance of estuaries and even witnessed local species using the habitat. 

Exploration got the best of some when digging in the mud for clams led to getting stuck! Despite the mud, everyone enjoyed learning about the ecosystem and adding new words to their vocabulary, like bloodworm. While the students were learning, our staff was also learning that even though we are from different environments and speak different languages we all want to care for nature. It’s a small world after all.

To learn more about field trips, please contact our Education Coordinator, Aeriel Wauhob, at Aeriel@SSEAcenter.org. 
Meet the Beach

We have finished our final Meet the Beach days for the 2019 season. We were able to have over 2000 interactions with the public at four different beaches around Olympia thanks to our dedicated volunteers.

Next year’s Meet the Beach training will be held in the Spring. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, please check back for training dates at sseacenter.org/MTB .
Pier Peer

Late summer nights at Boston Harbor have been beautiful and Pier Peer is still going strong! Come help us find nudibranch, shrimp, crabs, fish, seals, otters, and more! 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:

  • September 21, 7:00 - 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  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: 
  • September 12, 6:30 - 7:30 PM: Development Team Meeting, Estuarium
  • September 14, 9:00 - 10:00 PM and 4:30 - 6:30 PM: Contract Educator Training, Estuarium
  • September 18, 6:00 - 8:00 PM: Estuary Life & Landforms Field Trip Training, Estuarium
  • September 19. 6:00 - 7:00 PM, New Volunteer Orientation, Estuarium
  • September 21, 7:00 - 8:30 PM: Pier Peer, Boston Harbor Marina
  • September 24, 6:00 - 7:00 PM: Exhibits Team Meeting, Estuarium
  • September 25, 4:30 - 5:30 PM: Events Team Meeting, Estuarium
  • September 26, 6:30 - 7:30 PM: Education Team Meeting
  • 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: What did the dancing salmon say to the DJ?
A: This baseline is slamon!

Salmon are making their way back through Budd Inlet! Late summer marks an Olympia tradition as Coho and Chinook salmon swim upstream to the Deschutes River to spawn. 
Our community works hard to ensure as many of these returning salmon make the journey safely. Through the collaboration of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and Stream Team , a system to aid these travelers has been put in place at Tumwater Falls using a series of holding pens and fish ladders.

By collecting the eggs and milt of hatchery salmon in holding pens, the chances of successful reproduction increase. Using assisted reproduction and helping the remaining salmon pass upstream, is one way these organizations seek to protect these at risk fish.
Be sure to stop by the viewing bridges at Tumwater Falls, McLane Creek Nature Trail, and at the base of the 5th avenue bridge to see these amazing salmon in action August - October!
Click HERE for an awesome video of local harbor seals hunting the returning salmon under the 5th avenue bridge!

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

Photo Credit:
Olympia Salmon 006, David Roe
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