Explore the Shore

starfish boy circleEver wondered what it’s like to run a finger over the back of a prickly pink sea star? Or hold a tiny ocean crab in the palm of your hand? Become a citizen scientist for a day at Owen Beach!

Join Zoo naturalists and stroll along the beach at low tide, learning about the animals there and helping catalog them for scientific research. Explore the Shore is a fun and exciting opportunity to participate in scientific research while learning about the biological diversity of local beaches and how to protect them.


Who can Explore the Shore?
We recommend this walk for ages 5 and up. Families will be placed in groups depending on interests and abilities. For the great adventurers, you may walk up to 1.5 miles round trip from Owen Beach south to the Boat House and back.

Do I need to know anything about beach life?
No! These walks are great for all knowledge levels. Each group is led by a trained naturalist who will help you identify tide pool animals and record their location to add to the scientific NatureMapping database. Groups will also receive a field guide to common animals found along the shore.

What should I bring?
Come prepared with sunscreen, a hat, and weather-appropriate clothing. Sturdy, closed-toed shoes are recommended for walking on a rocky beach with lots of barnacles.

How do I sign up? How much does it cost?
No RSVP is needed. Meet on the beach near the Owen Beach parking lot. Explore the Shore is FREE.

2015 Dates

Monday, June 15 - 10:00 am
Thursday, July 2 - 11:00 am
Wednesday, July 15 - 10:30 am
Friday, July 31 - 10:45 am
Wednesday, Aug 12 - 9:30 am
Friday, Aug 28 - 9:30 am

Explore the Shore beach walks are timed to take advantage of the low tides that reveal many of Puget Sound’s most interesting shoreline creatures.

Check-in begins 30 minutes before the scheduled start time. At the meet-up times listed below, participants can get a brief introduction to the day before the walk begins. Beach walks are designed to last about two hours, though you may want to explore the beach for a longer time.
For more information, contact Amy Hale at 253.404.3665 or amy.hale@pdza.org.

Take the Pledge! Sign this sheet to remind yourself to trek the tidepools responsibly.