South Sound ESTUARIUM

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The South Sound ESTUARIUM,  309 State Ave. NE, Olympia, is a marine life discovery center featuring aquariums, interactive activities and interpretive exhibits. The Estuarium is a great place to visit for all ages!unnamed-9

For more information contact our Estuarium Manager at  360 915-0773.

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Parking:  Street parking is free after 5pm during the week, and is always free on weekends!  unnamed-3

Hours of Operation

Open to the public on weekends – Saturday and Sunday from 11 – 4 pm. Weekday private tours can be scheduled through the Estuarium Manager by calling 360-915-0773.images-1

Admission/Requested Donation: Families- $5.00, Individuals- $3.00, Youth (18 and under)- $1.00

Admission is always free for South Sound Estuary Association members.

5512_10152366424773109_572691064_nPrivate Group Visits: Our education team will work with your group to design a fun and exciting private group visit to the Estuarium.  Groups can be families, preschools, childcare facilities, scouts, clubs, seniors, and more!  90 minute group sessions start at $75. Large groups or groups with longer visits in mind may have an additional fee. Estuarium Group Request Form

Contact the Estuarium Manager at 360 915-0773 for questions and scheduling. To request a group visit, complete the Estuarium Group Request Form and return to taisha@sseacenter.org.

Volunteer Opportunities: We are always excited to train new volunteers as docents and as marine educators.  If you are interested in volunteering, complete the online Volunteer Form.  Once you complete a Volunteer Application you will be contacted via email to begin training. The Estuarium is a fun place to grow your understanding of marine ecosystems, and a great way to share that knowledge with others!

Our Exhibits:

– The Estuarium features an amazing diversity of live animals from intertidal and subtidal environments in South Puget Sound. See sea stars, crabs, shrimp, anemones, sea cucumbers, chitons, fish, and much more. Learn to identify animals, watch us feed them, and discover what lives in our own part of Puget Sound!.Tank pic

A small group of dedicated volunteers, expertly led by aquariums managers Bill Thomas and Jason Quam, design and maintain our animal habitats in order to mimic the South Puget Sound as closely as possible. This means that there is always something peeking out from a hiding place that you haven’t seen before! Our marine educators can help you in your quest to find all the animals in the tank!

– The Estuarium houses a modest natural history collection, featuring an exciting variety of preserved marine life from the depths of Puget Sound. Generously lent to us by the Washington Department of Ecology and natural historian, David Jamison, the collection at the Estuarium allows you to see everything from chiton shells to shark eyeballs up close and personal.

– The Estuarium video program features an exciting array of short videos from local organizations and projects. From funny to informative, have a seat and enjoy our selection of videos during your visit.

– Hands-on exhibits include microscopes, coloring, puzzles, an excellent reference library, and aquarium activities that change from week to week. Activities at the Estuarium are great for school age children, but there is something for everyone, no matter what age!

– Our interpretive exhibits are highly educational, focusing on relevant subjects relating to South Puget Sound ecology, geology, restoration, and recreation. Take some time during your visit to explore these informative exhibits.photo

– The Estuarium has a community bulletin board which connects visitors to opportunities beyond the Estuarium to enjoy and protect Puget Sound. In addition to information about our other programs, we have takeaway materials from our community partners as well as flyers for upcoming volunteer opportunities and activities.