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Low Tide Walk with the Port Townsend Marine Science Center

There isn’t much you can get with just five dollars these days but somehow, someway a mere five dollars gave me an experience I won’t soon forget –a Low Tide Beach Walk followed by a visit to the Port Townsend Marine Science Center. The science center is located at Fort Worden in Port Townsend, just a 30 minute drive from Port Ludlow.

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On a sunny June afternoon my mother and I headed to the science center to go on the Low Tide Walk, guided by volunteers of the science center. Our large group, around 40 people, broke the record for the most attendees to date! The kind volunteers rounded us up and we headed out to Kinzie Beach where children and adults alike were excited to explore and discover marine life.

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As my mother and I perused the beach, soaked up the sun, watched birds soar overhead, and heard eagles caw in the distance, we saw many varieties of seaweed, crabs, anemones, snails, barnacles, beach glass, and more. The guides brought clear plastic cups so we could gently pick up the small sea creatures and see them up close and charts to help us identify what type of crab, seaweed, or anemone we were looking at.

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After we headed back from the walk, my mom and I visited the science center’s newest exhibit, Learning from the Orcas – the story of Hope. Hope was a female orca that beached and died near Dungeness Spit in the early 2000s. Her skeleton is hung from the ceiling of the Natural History Building of the science center and the exhibit was extremely informative on how toxic chemicals affect marine species.

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We crossed the street and headed to the pier which hosts the Marine Exhibit with touch pools and aquariums filled with native marine life. I mentioned we had been on the low tide walk and a friendly employee and I looked through my photos and helped me figure out which species I had seen on the beach.

It was so cool to be able to see the creatures on the beach and then have the ability to have a literal hand-on experience in the touch tanks in the Marine Exhibit. My favorites were the texture of the starfish and anemones.

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It was a special day to spend with my mom and one I won’t forget anytime soon. I highly recommend heading out to the Port Townsend Marine Science Center for a day of fun. The next Low Tide Walk is on Saturday, July 23rd and the science center is open Wednesday – Monday from 11am to 5pm (closed Tuesdays).

Written by: Kaitlin Chester

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