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Washington State University

WSU Snohomish County Extension office has moved!

Our office is now located in the Snohomish County Parks & Recreation Administration Office at Willis Tucker Park, 6705 Puget Park Drive, Snohomish, 98296.

Our Projects

Kids exploring at low tide


Beach Watchers is a volunteer organization dedicated to protecting the Salish Sea through education, research and stewardship. We are trained by state, regional and local experts through a rigorous training program overseen by Washington State University Extension.


All of our projects fall under the three categories of Education, Research and Stewardship.


Beach Watchers volunteers talking to grade school kids on beach

Bringing the Beach to the Classroom

Goal: Increase Puget Sound literacy and appreciation in elementary school children including taking them on field trips to the beach.

Description: We invite classrooms around Snohomish county out to one of our beaches at low tide and hold a hands on field trip.  A week before the field trip we visit the classroom to talk set-up the field trip and talk about beach etiquette.

Partner: City of Mukilteo

Volunteers talking to public at Olympic Beach in Edmonds

Beach Naturalists

Goal: To teach beach stewardship methods and increase Puget Sound literacy and appreciation.

Description: Volunteers hold beach walks throughout the summer’s good low tides, May to September. They talk with beach visitors of all ages and backgrounds about the amazing intertidal critters and ecosystem.

Beaches: Kayak Point, Mukilteo Lighthouse Park, Edmonds Olympic Park

Partner: City of Mukilteo

Pet Waste program

Pet Waste Education – Vet Clinics

Goal: To educate dog owners about the impact of their pet’s waste on our regions water quality.

Description: We supply Doggie Bags/Scoop Kits to six vet clinics to hand out to their patients.  Volunteers collate the kits, deliver the kits to their assigned clinics quarterly.

Partner: Snohomish Surface Water Management (SWM)

Research/Citizen Science

Volunteer sampling water in Puget Sound

BEACH Program

Goal: To monitor salt water quality at local beaches and keep beachgoers healthy.

Description: Volunteers collect water quality samples in the summer between Memorial Day and Labor Day on Mondays or Tuesdays at five Snohomish County beaches; Howarth Park, Mukilteo Lighthouse, Picnic Point, Brackett’s Landing, and Marina Beach, as well as Jetty Island between July and September. The water samples are then delivered to the lab in the Snohomish Delta on the same day.

Partner: Washington State Department of Ecology

Volunteers working taking citizen science data at Howarth Park

Intertidal Characterization and Monitoring Surveys

Goal: To provide ongoing coordination with the UW citizen monitoring database effort and to provide land managers with data to assess changes over time.

Description: Volunteers collect baseline biological data at several public beaches each summer to develop an understanding of how the sites can change over time. Field days are on weekdays during low tides. It is a great opportunity to hone your identification skills and get experience using equipment.

Partner: James Lea Foundation


Volunteers counting trash after a beach clean up

Beach Clean-Ups

Goal: Keep Snohomish County’s beaches beautiful and trash free.

Description: Volunteers perform beach clean-ups monthly alternating between Howarth Park and Picnic Point.  Quarterly, we collaborate with the Snohomish County Marine Resource Committee and once a year we hold a larger clean-up using the EPAs Escaped Trash Assessment Protocol; picking up, counting and weighing all the trash in a given area on the beach.

Partner: Snohomish County Marine Resources Committee