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Beach Naturalist

Stroll along almost any local beach during low tide and you’ll see that the shore is alive!

Not only can you discover Puget Sound’s multitude of marine plants and animals — you may also encounter Seattle Aquarium beach naturalists: advocates for the living wonders on our shorelines who are eager to share their knowledge.

The Beach Naturalist program runs on low-tide days throughout the summer and on select winter evenings. The amazing people who operate it are local residents who care about Puget Sound beaches and want to help protect them. More than 200 people have volunteered to help community members learn about and enjoy our shorelines.

Beach naturalists know their beaches: they can help you explore gently to keep animals and their homes safe; tell you what sea stars eat; explain why barnacles stand on their heads; describe how moon snails lay their eggs; and so much more. Scroll down to see our low-tide programming for 2024!

Ask a beach naturalist! Need help identifying something? Email a photo to and a beach naturalist will respond to you as soon as we can.

Save the Date!

Evening low-tide beach walk at Charles Richey Sr. Viewpoint: Friday, February 9, 2024, 8–10pm. Details to come!
A Seattle Aquarium beach naturalist volunteer speaking to two individuals on a public beach near Seattle.

Become a Beach Naturalist

Interested in becoming a beach naturalist? Complete our volunteer information request form below!

A large sea star clinging to a rock during low tide.

Contact us

Have questions about the program? Email us at or call (206) 693-6214.

Beach Resources

Meet our Beach Neighbors

Our field guides include photos and detailed descriptions of nearly 50 commonly found intertidal residents.

Puget Sound Beach Field Guide

Guía de campo de la playa de Puget Sound

Eggs on the Beach ID Guide

Field Guides

This color photo guide includes animals commonly seen on Puget Sound beaches and here at the Aquarium. Available in the following languages:








Beach Etiquette Guides


King County Flood Control District

Lake Washington/Cedar/Sammamish Watershed Salmon Recovery Council

MMS Giving Foundation

Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation

The Boeing Company

The City of Burien

The City of Des Moines

The City of Shoreline

Washington State Parks

Watershed Ecosystem Forum for WRIA 9

An adult sea otter at the Seattle Aquarium looking upwards with its front paws resting on its front.

Giving Tuesday

Make a tax-deductible donation to the non-profit Seattle Aquarium

Your donation will be matched dollar-for-dollar up to $10,000 thanks to a very generous anonymous donor!

Sea otter at the Seattle Aquarium laying on its back, raising its head and front paws.

Cyber weekend

Get 15% OFF all memberships!