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South Sound Estuary Association

Explore • Connect • Inspire

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September 10th, 4 – 6:30 pm “Shorebird Scouting at Tolmie State Park”

Shorebird Scouting at Tolmie Sept 10, 4pm – about 6:30pm. 

FREE but Registration Required!  Click here to register.  Limited to 30 people.

The tidal estuaries of Puget Sound & Gray’s Harbor play an important role in the seasonal migrations of several species of shorebirds. As the first winter storms hit their breeding grounds in the Arctic, the shorebirds group up and fly south in marathon journeys that rapidly deplete their fat stores. They need to stop periodically and refuel: those fat polychaete worms we watched throughout the summer at our beaches are a key food item for many of these birds.
The fall migration tends to peak around the third week of September in our area.
We will meet at Tolmie within this migration window to check out the shorebirds that might be using this estuary. As far as we know, this beach has not been formally evaluated for its use by shorebirds, so this will be a scouting trip. We may see one killdeer, or we may see mixed flocks of 10+ species in large groups.
We will find a place to sit quietly on the upper beach, settle in and let the incoming tide push feeding birds closer to our binoculars and scopes.

DETAILS: MEET at the beach picnic tables down the trail off the lower parking lot.
Bring layers of warm clothes, binoculars and/or spotting scopes and a chair to sit on.
DO NOT bring dogs; they are very disturbing to the birds. Kids are welcome if they can sit quietly for 2 hours.
A basic bird field guide is useful. If you want a specialty book on shorebirds a recommended one is The Shorebird Guide by Michael O’Brien, available through Amazon.

Beach Naturalist Janet Partlow will be leading this scouting trip. She studied shorebirds at Manomet Bird Observatory’s Field Biologist Training Program and volunteered for several years with Joe Buchanan / Cascadia Research Collective, participating in International Shorebird Surveys in Puget Sound and Hood’s Canal. She did shorebird surveys at Kennedy Creek for many years. She has taught classes on shorebirds, their life histories and identification. 

 Dunlin, wintering at Budd Inlet. Dunlin1

PLEASE – NO dogs or restless kids.  Remember your discover pass.

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September 28th, 2 – 5 pm Benefit Cruise

b02fb3_faccd3d65b094765c99ae6a84f280b1a.jpg_srz_435_290_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_jpg_srzHaving a great time.Cruise Participants

6th Annual “Cruising for the Sound”, a benefit for South Sound Estuary Association, aboard the 90 person yacht, My Girl.

See the South Puget Sound from the water! Enjoy a wonderful day!  Good Food! Marine Education! FUN!

Support SSEA!  Click on 6th Annual Cruise to reserve your space.

When: September 28, 2014 

Where: Leaving from Port of Olympia Plaza Public Dock

Time: 2 – 5 pm


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GRAND OPENING _ August 16th, 2 – 5 pm

photo  Visit South Sound Estuarium’s new home, 309 State Ave. NE. Olympia.  Join us for celebration with family friendly activities, music, marine science exhibits, prize drawing, aquariums, interpretive material, beautiful windsock make just for the Estuarium, and MORE!

Please stop by and share in the fun!

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Estuarium Wish List

Wish List for the New Estuarium, 309 State. Ave. NE, Olympia, Washington

The following are needed to complete renovation of the science lab/classroom area in preparation for the August 16th, 2 – 5 pm “Grand Reopening Celebration”:

– Electrician to put in a couple of outlets
– Plumber to put in another sink, outside the bathroom
– Sheet metal worker/handiperson to rework exhaust fan system
– 7 yards dark blue/green/tan material for back room drapes
– Someone to make drapes
– Used 2×6 deck boards
– Used fishing nets
– Concrete saw/operator to take out non-structural cabinet.

If you can help contact,

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Estuarium has new hours – 11 – 4 weekends at 309 State Ave. NE, Olympia

The South Sound Estuarium, 309 State Ave. NE, new weekend hours are 11 – 4.  Please let your friends and family know we have reopened.  Come see the new creatures in the aquariums.10553494_10152626410958109_4843912067099214742_n10405461_10152626410873109_238119808550932235_n


We have new nudibranch.  They are amazing to watch.

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Beach Naturalist In the News

This morning’s Olympian has a great article on the beach naturalist program with lots of great pictures.  Beach Naturalists Joe Hiss and Larry McCallum were featured, as is program manager, Wendy Eklund.  Read full story below and view the great pictures.  Lots of people on the beach!  The remaining schedules dates, sites and times are also listed.

Beach Naturalists at Priest Point Park

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The Estuarium, 309 State Ave. Olympia, will open on July 19th and be open weekends, 10 – 3 thereafter. We look forward to seeing you there. Share the news with your friends. The new space is just wonderful. You will enjoy it too.

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ESTUARIUM Reopening JULY 19th 10 am

DSCN1719Just in time for the Lakefair weekend, the Estuarium is reopening at its new location, 309 State Ave. in downtown Olympia.  The Estuarium hours are 10 – 3 weekends.  Visit us…See new our new space.  Tell your friends!

Grand Re-opening Celebration will be August 16th, 2 – 5, with live music, family activities, a raffle, and free admission all day to Olympia’s Puget Sound Marine Discovery Center, the South Sound Estuarium.  On August 16, bring the whole family and welcome the Estuarium to downtown Olympia!


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Aquariums in the new Estuarium

The aquariums are moved, set up in the new site and working well. New floor is installed in the area where the new aquarium will be placed. Painting is finished in the front area, the office desk was installed today, phone to be hooked up on monday, the lab/education space is ready for painting. It has been a good week. Lots more to do, but we are making progress. THANKS to all the volunteers who offered their time and skills. Still planning on reopening July 19th, 10 am.

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