Tacoma Nature Center and Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium will show children and adults how to explore the marine life at local beaches with two programs aimed at teaching them about Puget Sound’s beaches and the creatures calling them home.
The zoo’s first Explore the Shore program is set for Sunday, with others following on June 26, July 7 and 22 and Aug. 20 at Owen Beach in Point Defiance Park. The Tacoma Nature Center will host Tiptoe Through the Tidepools on June 22 and July 20 at Titlow Beach, 8425 Sixth Ave., Tacoma.
Each event is timed to take advantage of the low tides that can reveal many of Puget Sound’s shoreline creatures.
During Explore the Shore, for ages 5 and older, zoo naturalists lead participants on low tide beach walks, where kids and adults can learn to identify tide pool animals and record their presence and location for addition to the scientific Nature Mapping database.
Participants also will learn about the biological diversity of local beaches and better understand how to protect them, according to a Metro Parks Tacoma press release.
Before the walk begins, participants will get a brief introduction to the day. The program is designed to last about two hours, though people may want to explore the beach for a longer time.
During Tiptoe Through the Tidepools events, Tacoma Nature Center naturalists help participants learn about life on the beach. It will feature touch tanks and opportunities to ponder the creatures that live on the shoreline.
The events and programs are free and open to the public and reservations are not required. Bring sunscreen and wear shoes and clothing appropriate for walking on rough beach terrain. For young children, bringing a change of clothes also is a good idea.
For more information about Tiptoe Through the Tidepools call 253-591-6439 or go to tacomanaturecenter.org. For more information about Explore the Shore, go to pdza.org or call 253-404-3665.