Stroll along almost any Seattle beach during low tide on a summer weekend and you'll see that the shore is alive! Not only will you witness Puget Sound's multitude of marine plants and animals, you'll also see beach naturalists: advocates for these living wonders sharing their knowledge with beachgoers. Beach naturalists are local citizens who care about Puget Sound beaches and want to help protect them.
More than 100 have volunteered to help people learn about and enjoy area shorelines. Beach naturalists know their beaches: they can help you enjoy the habitat without harming it; tell you what sea stars eat; explain why barnacles stand on their heads; describe how moon snails lay their eggs; and so much more. "The enthusiasm and excitement of our beach naturalists transfers directly to the public—it's a wonderful, infectious thing!" beams Janice Mathisen, community outreach coordinator at the Seattle Aquarium. "To be able to meet a family and educate them on what a treasure we have here in Puget Sound is amazing."