Meet the Beach Training

Wendy EklundMeet the Beach is a hands on opportunity to work with beach goers who visit our local beaches. Volunteers in this program work to create a greater understanding of the Puget Sound, a large estuary (place where fresh and salt water meet). It is offered to the general public and K-12 groups at local beaches, such as Burfoot Park, Tolmie State Park, Priest Point, Frye Cove, and West Bay during low tides.

Volunteers learn about the amazing diversity of creatures who live there and talk with people about how everyday choices can have a positive impact on our water quality. They answer people’s “what is that?” questions, get kids engaged looking for the creatures that live in the intertidal zone, increase awareness about what it takes to survive here and beach behavior (creatures home and leave living things at the beach, be gentle, touch with a set finger), and share ideas about what we can do to protect our waters and the creatures that depend upon its health.

For more information, please email MeetTheBeach(at)

We are very excited to announce our 2018 Meet the Beach volunteer program. Meet the Beach Beach Naturalists provide natural interpretation to the general public and to K-12 groups on low-tide days at local beaches. We explore the beach with beach-goers, helping them find and learn about marine habitats, plants and animals.

Our free Beach Naturalist training is known for its expert instruction and fascinating content. No existing knowledge or experience is required. Our primary training objective is to increase volunteers’ knowledge of estuary biology and habitats and the impacts of human interaction. During the training, we will focus on the habitats at local beaches and on marine-life anatomy, survival behaviors, feeding, predation, and life cycles.

Classroom and beach dates for the 2018 Meet the Beach volunteer training are:

  • Wednesday, April 4, 6:00 – 8:00 PM at the Estuarium (Required for new volunteers)
  • Thursday, April 12, 6:00 – 9:00 PM
  • Thursday, April 19, 6:00 – 9:00 PM
  • Saturday, April 21, 4:00 – 6:00 PM at Burfoot Beach
  • Thursday, May 3, 6:00 – 9:00 PM
  • Thursday, May 10, 6:00 – 9:00 PM
  • Saturday, May 19, 2:30 – 4:30 PM at Tolmie State Park

The Thursday evening classroom sessions will be held at:

Boston Harbor Firehouse
5046 Boston Harbor Road NE
Olympia, WA 98506

It is important for new volunteers to attend all of the training sessions. We can make special arrangements for new volunteers who are keen to volunteer, but who will miss no more than two sessions. Please let us know if you are a new volunteer and you plan to miss any of the training sessions. The Meet the Beach Orientation on April 4 is required for all new volunteers.

We ask that Meet the Beach Beach Naturalists volunteer for at least four low-tide days each season. New volunteers must submit to a background check. If you choose volunteer for the Meet the Beach program, we ask that you become or maintain your membership with the Estuarium. You can renew or establish your membership by clicking HERE.

To schedule yourself for the training sessions, you must have a Volgistics account with us. You can create a Volgistics account by completing our Volunteer Application HERE. If you already have a Volgistics account with us, you can schedule yourself for the training sessions HERE. If you have any trouble with the volunteer application or the volunteer schedule, please let us know; we are happy to help.

Thank you for your interest in volunteering with us. We look forward to working with you to inspire people of all ages to connect with, protect, and enjoy the unique estuary environment of Puget Sound!

For more information, see our website ( or contact MeetTheBeach(at)

Benefits of becoming a trained Meet the Beach volunteer:0501141321b

  • Improved knowledge of Puget Sound intertidal flora and fauna species
  • Training provided by some of the leading experts in the field
  • Improved skills in interpretation for public audiences
  • Interactions with people appreciative of your knowledge of intertidal life
  • Marketable job experience for resumes
  • Valuable professional networking with partnering organizations
  • Oh and don’t forget it’s FUN!


Puget Sound's Wildside, BN textPuget Sound’s Wildside is an original Harbor WildWatch publication that introduces readers to the local marine environment. This book provides an excellent introduction to local marine life and has been used frequently as a text book for high school and community college marine and environmental science courses.