Skip to main content Skip to navigation
Washington State University

Our Projects

WSU Snohomish County Extension Beach Watchers are involved in many projects that protect Puget Sound. Beach Watchers have created many of the projects listed below, with some choosing to take leadership roles.  Many other Beach Watchers staff these events.  Check out the following descriptions of our primary projects!


Education Projects: In 2018, we are continuing our Puget Sound youth education programming, FREE low tide explorations in the summer, our annual winter starlight beach walk, veterinary clinic outreach, crabbing education, festival education and more!


Research Projects: We’ll continue to monitor water quality of our local beaches and conducting our yearly intertidal beach characterizations. This year, we’ll also do an assessment for a model volunteer oil spill response program that will be piloted in 2019.


Since 2017, we also started an ongoing  Stewardship Project at Howarth Park beach in Everett, WA. Every other month, Beach Watchers do a beach cleanup of trash and recyclables.


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, Stewardship and Research.



Classroom Presentations for Youth

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


Partner: City of Mukilteo

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 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

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

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