From now through Aug. 26, kids can get an up-close look at moon snails, red rock crabs and other Puget Sound critters with Stream Team’s Marine Creature Mondays at Boston Harbor Marina.
“There’s the purple sea star, and they get to look at it closely,” said David W. Jamison of Olympia, a retired marine biologist who helped establish the free program. “It’s a very interesting animal, and they can even touch it.”
Every week, divers bring marine creatures out of the water for the program. The creatures are kept in salt water while biologists talk about their habitat needs. After the program, they are gently released back into the water.
The program is suitable for children ages 4 and older, and pre-registration is required, said Patricia Pyle, a senior program specialist with Stream Team, which is sponsored by the storm and surface water utilities of Lacey, Olympia, Tumwater and Thurston County.
Life jackets are required for non-swimmers and those younger than 6, and there are loaners available to those who don’t have their own, she said. Pyle recommends families dress for the weather and remember sunscreen and hats.
“Come with your sense of adventure and wonder and interest in wanting to learn about Puget Sound,” she added.
The idea behind the program is to introduce people to marine creatures so they will care more about protecting them.
“The bottom line is whatever they do on the uplands in terms of pollution eventually finds itself through the watershed and coming down into the Puget Sound,” Jamison said. “We want to introduce them to animals they can be impacting if they release pollution in the uplands.”
If you go
Marine Creature Mondays are slated for 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Mondays through Aug. 26. Pre-registration is required and available at www.streamteam.info.
Stream Team also offers several other kid-friendly programs, including the opportunity to learn about plankton at 2:30 p.m. Thursdays this summer at the Port Plaza and a chance to view those samples under a high-powered microscope from 3:45-4:45 p.m. Thursdays at the LOTT Wet Center, 500 Adams St. NE, Olympia.
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