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Beach Naturalist

A white wave shape.

Join us at the beach

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 beachnaturalist@seattleaquarium.org and a beach naturalist will respond to you as soon as we can.

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? Fill out our volunteer information request form below!

A Seattle Aquarium volunteer wearing a blue hat and shirt crouching on a beach. She is speaking to two children.

Share your feedback

If you visited the Beach Naturalist program this season, we would appreciate your feedback!

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

Contact us

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

2024 Beach Naturalist Locations and Schedule

The 2024 Beach Naturalist season is right around the corner! Explore a map to find your nearest beach or select from the list below. Our naturalists will be stationed on each of the listed dates at the listed beaches.

*Please note that we will not have Beach Naturalists stationed at Des Moines Beach on June 5, June 6, July 4, July 20 and July 21.

Beach Naturalist schedule

Our naturalists will be stationed during the listed dates and times.

Date Time Low tide
Friday, May 24
10:30am–1:30pm
-2.46 @ 12:08pm
Saturday, May 25
11am–2pm
-2.7 @ 12:48pm
Sunday, May 26
11:30am–2:30pm
-2.7 @ 1:32pm
Monday, May 27
12:15pm–3:15pm
-2.42 @ 2:19pm
Wednesday, June 5*
9:30am–12:30pm
-2.96 @ 10:40am
Thursday, June 6*
9:30am–1:30pm
-3.36 @ 11:21am**
Friday, June 7
9:30am–1:30pm
-3.32 @ 12:03pm**
Saturday, June 8
10:45am–2:15pm
-2.95 @ 12:45pm
Sunday, June 9
11:30am–2:30pm
-2.31 @ 1:28pm
Friday, June 21
9:30am–12:30pm
-2.62 @ 11:07am
Saturday, June 22
9:45am–1:45pm
-3.06 @ 11:49am
Sunday, June 23
10:30am–2:30pm
-3.25 @ 12:32pm**
Monday, June 24
11:30am–3:30pm
-3.12 @ 1:17pm**
Tuesday, June 25
12pm–3:30pm
-2.59 @ 2:03pm
Thursday, July 4*
9:30am–12pm
-2.76 @ 10:22am
Friday, July 5
9:30am–12:30pm
-2.84 @ 11:05am
Saturday, July 6
10am–1:30pm
-2.67 @ 11:47am
Sunday, July 7
10:30am–1:30pm
-2.29 @ 12:28pm
Saturday, July 20*
9:30am–12:30pm
-2.71 @ 10:48am
Sunday, July 21*
9:30am–1:30pm
-3.11 @ 11:32am**
Monday, July 22
10:30am–2pm
-3.15 @ 12:16pm**
Tuesday, July 23
11am–2:30pm
-2.73 @ 1pm

*Beach Naturalists will NOT be stationed at Des Moines Beach on June 5, June 6, July 4, July 20 and July 21.
**Lowest tides of the season.

Beach Resources

Meet our Beach Neighbors

Field Guides

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

English

English-Amharic

English-Chinese

English-Khmer

English-Korean

English-Somali

English-Spanish

English-Tagalog

English-Thai

English-Vietnamese

Beach Etiquette Guides

Videos

Beach Naturalist video guides

Videoguías de Naturalistas de playa

Sponsors

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

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Website maintenance

Please note: Our ticketing and membership systems will be offline for approximately two hours starting at 9pm Pacific on Tuesday, February 20. During the maintenance window, online ticketing and membership will not be available.

Thank you for understanding.

Support the Seattle Aquarium

Two sea otters at the Seattle Aquarium floating on the water in their habitat, holding onto each other demonstrating a rafting behavior.

With your help, the Seattle Aquarium builds connections with our community to inspire conservation and curiosity for marine life. When you make an end-of-year gift by December 31, you'll be joining us in protecting our shared marine environment—now and for generations to come. Thank you!

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

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