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Too wet to garden? Come take the Beach Naturalist course.

I don’t know about you, but for me it’s been challenging to go out and garden during this very very damp and wet and rainy and monsoony weather. I have an idea, let’s all stay inside for a few hours each Thursday from March 31 through May 5 and learn about becoming volunteers in the WSU Extension/Washington Sea Grant Beach Naturalist Program. More than half our Beach Naturalists are gardeners too and one of our class sessions talks about seaweeds (aka algae) one of the original plants in our world.

Kitsap has nearly 300 miles of salt water shoreline and even more miles of fresh water streams.  If you’d like to help people enjoy and learn about our marine shorelines and streams the Beach Naturalist course just might be for you.  Classes are on March 31, April 7, 21, 28 and May 5 at the Norm Dicks Government Center in Bremerton, with two sessions available:  from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and from 6-9 p.m..  In addition we’ll have the opportunity to learn first hand at 5 scheduled Beach Walks on: April 7, 9, 21, 23, and May 21.

The course covers seaweed (algae), fish, invertebrates, clams, crabs, anemones and other sea critters; marine riparian hatitat and conservation, beach etiquette and beach walk coordination.  In order to graduate and receive a certificate, badge and hat, each Beach Naturalist must attend 4 of the 5 classes and 3 of the 5 beach walks; plus volunteer 25 hours each year in educating the public.

The Beach Naturalist Program is sponsored by SSWM (Surface and Storm Water Management, Kitsap County) and is a program of WSU Kitsap Extension and Washington Sea Grant.  Staff coordinators are Peg Tillery (WSU Extension) and Jeff Adams (Washington Sea Grant).  There is a materials fee of $55 but scholarships are available. 

To sign up for the course please contact Lisa Rillie 360-337-7157 (Ext. zero) or email – she will send you the registration form and volunteer application papers to fill out and return. The Registration deadline is March 25.