About Us

10458457_10152845417543109_1751985097163078562_nSouth Sound Estuary Association (SSEA) was founded in 2007 as a result of community interest in creating opportunities for the public to learn about estuaries, geology, natural and cultural history, marine life, and human impact on the Puget Sound (2nd largest estuary in the U.S. by size and largest by volume).

In 2010 South Sound Estuary Association (SSEA) was granted federal 501 (c) (3) status and has been registered since 2007 as a non-profit corporation with Washington Secretary of State. SSEA is also registered as a Washington state charity.

Our vision is to create an educated community that is engaged and inspired to promote the health, conservation and restoration of Puget Sound.

Our mission is to foster learning opportunities that inspire people of all ages to connect with, protect, and enjoy the unique estuary environment of south Puget Sound.

We provide interpretive services. In a quote from: “Making a Difference on Purpose”.

“Defining Interpretation: Interpretation serves as an important bridge between people and our natural and cultural resources. Interpretation is defined by Ted Cable and Larry Beck as an informational and inspirational process designed to enhance understanding, appreciation and protection of our natural and cultural legacy. In our profession, we take technical information, hard-to-understand theories and the unique stories of our sites and make them relevant and personal for our visitors. Interpretation, when done well, is entertaining, educational, informative, recreational, inspirational and provokes further thought and/or action.” This is what SSEA hopes to do.

We provide numerous learning and interpretation opportunities :

– the Beach Naturalist program, on the beach interpretation of intertidal life, offered at local beaches during summer low tides,

– South Sound Estuarium, a marine life discovery center, with saltwater aquariums, interactive and interpretive displays, and a video room,Tank pic

– Connecting Youth with the Health of Puget Sound, school based marine and estuary education,

– the fall/winter “Discovery” Speaker Series,

– our yearly fall on-the-water fundraiser “Cruising for the Sound”,

– Community Outreach – educational booths at community events/festivals/fairs, presentations to local service groups and clubs and

– Pier Peer at Boston Harbor Marina, night time underwater viewing of marine life.

Mission Statement:

Create access, for all ages, that expands environmental knowledge and fosters public awareness, enjoyment and health of south Puget Sound – its estuaries and marine environment through classroom, field and on the water interactive educational opportunities.

Vision Statement:

An educated community that is engaged and inspired to promote the ongoing health, conservation, and restoration of south Puget Sound.

Core Values:

  • Provide high quality educational opportunities.
  • Provide an exceptional interpretive center in Olympia, WA.
  • Respect, protect and help conserve the environment.
  • Provide educational content that focuses on the challenges and successes in the restoration and protection of the South Puget Sound region.
  • Enhance access and knowledge of partnering organizations and the programs and services they provide.
  • Engage and inspire community through interactive education.
  • Facilitate opportunities for direct involvement.

Over Arching Goal:

To connect people and nature through hands-on education, stewardship and recreational opportunities.

Our Motto

Explore • Connect • Inspire

Board Meetings

1st Tuesday of each month, 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm. Estuarium, 309 State Ave. NE, Olympia.

Contact us

center@sseacenter.org or message phone 360 915-0773