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See a full list of WSU Kitsap Extension COVID-19 Resources, as well as an up-to-date statement on our office’s status.

Coronavirus COVID-19

COVID-19 Advisory: WSU Extension is working to keep our communities safe. All Extension programming is being conducted consistent with the latest official state guidance. WSU Extension county offices and WSU Research & Extension Centers are following protocols for vaccination, masking, distancing and hygiene. If this office is not open to the public, we are available during normal business hours via email, phone, and web conference.

Kitsap Beach Naturalists

Program Contact: Water Stewardship Program Coordinator, Amy Smalley
(360) 228-7303 • amy.smalley@wsu.edu

About the Program

The Kitsap Peninsula is an incredible place to learn about the waters and marine life that surround us. The Kitsap Beach Naturalist program is for people who want to discover and explore our shorelines and the sea life that call them home. Through partnership with UW’s Washington Sea Grant and WWU’s SEA Discovery Center, the Kitsap Beach Naturalist program offers an annual spring Beach Naturalist training and many free beach explorations for curious minds.

Water Stewardship Coordinator Amy Smalley with beach naturalists during a training at Lions Park, Bremerton.

What will I learn?

This course is taught by local and regional experts that will bring you hands on classroom and field trip learning opportunities. Topics will include:

Salish Sea 101 The inland sea in our backyard is home to many ecologically significant marine and nearshore species. You will dive into the biodiversity, coastal processes, ocean dynamics, and geology of this incredible feature.

Marine Biodiversity Discover what plants and creatures lie beneath the surface! You’ll learn about microscopic species all the way up to whales. We’ll explore marine habitats identification and conservation efforts surrounding our resident sea life.

Birds and the Intertidal Zone You will take a look at the various intertidal zones surrounding Kitsap. You’ll learn about invertebrates, tides, shoreline geology, birds, and how to identify these things on the beach.

Conservation & Restoration Find out how local, tribal and environmental agencies are helping protect our natural spaces and species. We will discuss volunteer opportunities, citizen science projects, and things that you can do on your own to make a difference.

Volunteer Opportunities

After the Beach Naturalist training we will provide and connect you with opportunities to volunteer around Kitsap County. Beach Naturalist volunteer events include acting as a naturalist for community beach explorations and children’s field trips, conducting beach profiles, monitoring sea stars, offering outreach at local events and more! We also will be sharing opportunities in our monthly newsletter!

Public Beach Explorations

Each year, trained volunteers meet event participants out on beaches across the county (and beyond) to look for creatures that inhabit the intertidal zone. These explorations are free and open to all. Rubber boots or close-toes shoes are highly recommended. Look out for these events on our Facebook page!

Ask a Beach Naturalist

Have you been out to the beach and noticed something interesting? We have a team of Beach Naturalists and experts that can help provide answers. We would love to help you with species identification, oceanography, tide-related questions, and anything else that you can think of. Feel free to submit photos and questions below!