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Coronavirus COVID-19

COVID-19 Advisory: WSU Extension is working to keep our communities safe. All Extension programming is being provided virtually, postponed, or canceled. Effective March 16, 2020, WSU Extension county offices and WSU Research & Extension Centers will be closed to the public. We are available via email, phone, and webconference.

Beach Naturalists

Program Contact: Monica Montgomery, Beach Naturalists Coordinator

Discover the World of Bluffs, Beaches, and Marine Life

The Beach Naturalists training is open to the public and designed for anyone who is interested in beaches, marine life, and becoming better stewards.  In this lively 6-week course, students learn directly from researchers and practitioners about local marine habitats and species, restoration and conservation efforts, community science opportunities, and more!

What Will I Learn?

Salish Sea 101  The Salish Sea is one of the world’s largest and most biologically rich inland seas. Learn about ocean dynamics, tides, coastal processes, and the nearshore and marine habitats that make up this special corner of the world.

Intertidal CRSeaweeds & Seagrasses  Learn from local experts about the wondrous diversity of seaweeds and seagrasses, and their important ecological functions.

Intertidal Invertebrates & Sea Creatures  This is always a favorite topic! You’ll learn about the various intertidal zones and the sea creatures that take residence there, with lots of fun facts and some identification skills to inspire your next low tide beach walk.

Restoration, Conservation & Protection  Learn about what local Tribes, agencies, and organizations are doing to improve our marine and nearshore ecosystems, and how you can stay informed.

Community Science  Find out how you can get involved! Participants will learn about community science projects and opportunities with the WA Sea Grant SoundToxins program and Crab Team, Port Townsend Marine Science Center, Jefferson County Marine Resources Committee, and more! What are harmful algal blooms and how are they being monitored? Why is the European Green Crab considered to be one of the world’s worst invasive species and how can we protect our native habitats? How do I know if a marine mammal is stranded and what should I do? Learn the answers to these and discover other ways you can get involved in volunteer opportunities in your community.


Registration for the 2021 Beach Naturalists training is closed. Be the first to know when the next training will be offered by signing up for the waitlist!

Sign up for the waitlist

How Do We Volunteer and Where?

Beach Naturalists (and Stream Stewards) volunteer with many organizations in the community. We help with salmon spawning surveys (North Olympic Salmon Coalition); serve as docent volunteers at the Port Townsend Marine Science Center; organize clammer education programs like Diggin’ for Dinner (with WDFW); hobnob with tourists and friends at the annual Wooden Boat Festival; assist with Olympia oysters habitat restoration (Jefferson County Marine Resources Committee) and more! If your volunteer activity is closely related to water resources, it counts!

Volunteer Hours

Jefferson County Beach Naturalists and Stream Stewards can report hours volunteered towards environmental stewardship projects, community outreach, and self education with this online form.