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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 Naturalist/MRC Coordinator

Discover the World of Beaches, Bluffs and Marine Life


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WSU Jefferson County Extension offers a 6-day Beach Naturalists course designed for anyone interested in beaches, marine life, and becoming better stewards.

Participants in this course receive comprehensive, science-based training from experts in their fields, with the opportunity to ask them questions directly.  You will learn about marine habitats and species of the Salish Sea, regional restoration and conservation efforts, and community science opportunities.

The course includes lectures, guest speaker panels, q&a sessions, recommended readings, and a discussion forum outside of class time for interactive learning opportunities.

If you would like to be notified of the next training, please contact Monica Montgomery, the Jefferson WSU Beach Naturalist/MRC Coordinator at


What Will I Learn?

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

Seaweeds & Seagrasses – Learn from local experts Jeff Adams and Nam Siu about the wondrous diversity of seaweeds and seagrasses, and their important ecological functions.

Intertidal CR

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 here, with lots of fun facts to inspire your next low tide beach walk.  You’ll also learn about forage fish, sea birds, and marine mammals, and how they’re all interconnected.

Community Science – Students 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 find out other ways you can get involved in shoreline, kelp and Olympia oyster monitoring efforts.



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 Marine Resources Committee) and more! If your volunteer activity is closely related to water resources, it counts!

SalmonSpawnNOSC_P1010375Volunteer Hours

Jefferson County Beach Naturalists and Stream Stewards  can report their hours in an on-line database.

Click here to log your volunteer hours.
Click HERE for instructions on how to report your hours.





group at Snow-Salmon Cr restoration
Beach Naturalists at Snow-Salmon Creek restoration