Volunteers needed for beach naturalist program in Olympia

Volunteers are being recruited to take part in the South Sound Estuary Association’s Beach Naturalist program.

For the fifth summer, naturalists will work on Olympia area beaches, sharing knowledge about the marine creatures that live in the amazing intertidal and nearshore habitat.

“The program is a hands on opportunity to work with beachgoers who visit our local beaches,” said Diana Larsen-Mills, the association’s acting executive director. “Beach naturalists work to create a greater understanding of the Puget Sound.”

Volunteer naturalists offer spring on-the-beach sessions to school groups and to the general public from June-August at several state and county parks in Thurston County. The programs generally coincide with low tides so students and visitors have a better chance of discovering marine creatures.

More than 3,300 people took part in one of the beach programs during 2014.

Participants are required to go through classroom and on-the-beach training sessions.

Classroom training begins April 16, and will be held for three hours on four more Thursday evenings yet to be finalized in April and May.

On-the-beach training sessions will be held April 18, plus another session chosen to coincide with the low tide on May 17, 29 or 30.

Registration for the training sessions has already opened. For more information on the program and what is required, contact program manager Wendy Eklund at 360-866-1554 or wendy@sseacenter.org.