Meet the Beach Training

Beach Naturalist Training is moving online! Our Meet the Beach team has worked quickly to move our unique intertidal life training to the web in order to keep our community safe and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic. Using a webinar format, our trained volunteers and staff will facilitate interactive training sessions with special guest speakers.

The first training session will be held on May 30th, from 10:00 – 1:00 PM. We are excited to have Professor Gernardo Chin-Leo, expert in oceanography and marine biology, joining us for a discussion on Puget Sound’s ecology!

This training session is required for new and returning Beach Naturalists as we work to unite and push forward with estuary education despite the interruptions in our planned programming. 

To register for the first Virtual Beach Naturalist Training session please submit a volunteer application. Once your application and background check have been processed our team will send you a link to our first Virtual Beach Naturalist Training session. 

What does a Beach Naturalist do?

Meet 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 (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 Woodard 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.

The 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.

New Volunteers

To apply to be a Beach Naturalist and 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 below.

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 May 30th Virtual Beach Naturalist Training Session is required for all new Beach Naturalists.

Returning Volunteers

If you are a returning Beach Naturalist and already have a Volgistics account with us, you can schedule yourself for the training sessions in our Volgistics Volunteer Center.

Participation in these training courses are encouraged, but not required. Signing up for specific beach days will be available soon, and we will send out a notification when that becomes available.

If you have any trouble with the volunteer application or the volunteer schedule, please let us know; we are happy to help, shoot us an email



Puget 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. Click HERE to purchase Puget Sound’s Wildside.