- Booths all around the esplanade with hands-on fun.
- Learn about ocean science and Puget Sound from local scientists and activists.
- Get your hands wet. Explore your world. Commit to an Ocean Action.
Washington Wild defends, protects and restores wild lands and waters in Washington State through advocacy, education and civic engagement. From opposing mining in the Canadian headwaters of the Skagit River, to supporting the expansion of key wilderness areas like Olympic National Park, they take action to ensure that our wild places will be protected long into the future.
HANDS-ON: Sign a postcard for the Wild Olympics campaign and do a craft.
Rainier Apparel is a locally-owned small business selling zero-waste, upcycled and sustainable clothing. They’re help with coastal cleanup efforts and teach West Sound STEM programs for environmental science and ecosystems, focusing on marine pollution.
HANDS-ON: Look at microplastics in water, and make your own ocean activism item out of marine trash.
Tacoma Nature Center (a facility of Metro Parks Tacoma) teaches about the ocean and how to protect it to youth and adults along with offering kayaking trips to get out on the ocean. It hopes to inspire people to use less disposable plastic and take care of their environment.
HANDS-ON: Kayaking trips along the Foss Waterway to pick up trash, on the hour (down on the dock) plus a booth nature activity.
Kathy brings her children’s book called “Mermaid Girls Who Saved The Seas,” teaching children about how we create and dispose of waste, how this affects the ocean, and how to reuse, recycle or upcycle. 100% of her book’s profits are donated to help clean and protect oceans.
HANDS-ON: Coloring mermaids and hearing a story.
SR3 responds to injured or stranded marine wildlife in collaboration with NOAA, USFWS, and WDFW. They are building Washington’s first dedicated marine wildlife rehabilitation and science center for marine mammals, sea birds, and sea turtles. They support marine wildlife research with a focus on our local endangered orcas to better understand the pressures on marine wildlife, and how we can make positive changes for animals and humans alike.
HANDS-ON: See and touch marine animal biofacts.
Girl Scout Troop 45293
This troop has developed a “waste-free lunch” campaign to encourage eliminating single-use plastics in their elementary schools as a part of their Bronze Award. They want to inspire people to live waste-free and have plenty of items to show you how!
HANDS-ON: Make a bag out of a T-shirt, create a reusable wax wrap and pack a pretend lunch!
Legal Rights for the Salish Sea is a non-profit that works to get rights of nature for southern resident orcas, and making sure that their habitat, the Salish Sea, is healthy.
HANDS-ON: Coming soon!
The Pierce Conservation District works with the community to improve water quality, promote sustainable agriculture, create thriving habitat, and build a just and healthy food system for all, through education, community engagement, and financial and technical assistance.
HANDS-ON: Coming soon!
For over 25 years, Zero Waste Washington has worked hard to make trash obsolete – especially plastics. Aware of the danger plastics pose to our ocean, they work to get laws passed – like plastic bag bans.
HANDS-ON: Play I-Spy!
Oikonos – University of Puget Sound
Under biologist (and keen kayaker) Peter Hodum, Oikonos does scientific research focused on the impacts of marine and freshwater plastic debris in aquatic food webs. Through outreach, Oikonos inspires people to make intentional decisions about how they use plastic.
HANDS-ON: See plastics under a microscope and peer into an artificial seabird burrow with an infra-red camera!
Slater Museum – University of Puget Sound
The Slater Museum is a natural history collection with over 85,000 specimens of various mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, insects, and plants – including marine mammals and seabirds. These are used both in faculty and student research and in public education and outreach – like seabird specimens used to study plastic ingestion.
HANDS-ON: Touch and see marine animal skulls and other artefacts.
Ikkatsu explores, educates and advocates for the ocean through marine plastics surveys, beach cleanups and more. Founder Ken Campbell is famous for the paddlecraft he makes out of marine trash that washes up near his Tacoma home! Come see one of them, and watch an Ikkatsu film on the Ocean Fest screen.
HANDS-ON: Explore a beach-in-a-box, and hear Ken give an OceanX talk at 10:45am inside!
What do you throw out? Where does it go? Can it stay out of landfill? The Envirochallenger can help you answer all these questions and more with fun hands-on ways of learning about surface water, wastewater, garbage and recycling that all impact our ocean.
HANDS-ON: Coming soon!
A Drop in the Ocean is a Tacoma small business making soaps, homewares, toothpastes and other products without plastic packaging – and holds workshops to teach us all how to do it.
HANDS-ON: Make a thumbprint pledge to reduce your plastic!
At Jason Lee, students learn about plastic consumption and ocean health in science classes to teach other kids. Now they’re sharing these same lessons with us at Ocean Fest!
HANDS-ON: Look at microplastic fibers in our water through microscopes, sort plastic from a local beach and learn how it affects animals.
Whaley & Co is a multimedia content group who want to inspire people to learn more and get involved with ocean conservation. They create photos, videos, memes and social media content that’s beautiful and meaningful
HANDS-ON: Snap a selfie at their ocean photo booth, indoors near the entrance.
Pierce County Library is all about STEM, and aims to educate the county about environmental issues. Find accurate, reliable sources of scientific information in print and digital, and learn about the water cycle and run-off.
HANDS-ON: Play with a stream table!
Locally owned, NC Kayaks make the best sport and touring kayaks – including the Quest, a 17-foot seagoing kayak that they are donating as a raffle prize to benefit Ocean Fest and Tacoma City Ballet!
HANDS-ON: Check out the Quest and buy a raffle ticket.
Pier into the Night, beach walks, a Chum Festival – Harbor Wild Watch runs over 600 educational programs a year in local schools and out on the beach to inspire stewardship of the Salish Sea.
HANDS-ON: Play the Skull Guessing Game – guess the marine animal!
The Surfrider Foundation is dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of the world’s ocean, waves and beaches through a powerful activist network. The South Sound Chapter does water quality testing, beach cleanups, and participates in promoting campaigns relevant to our mission. We hope to inspire people to protect the places we play.
HANDS-ON: You’ll get a “Long Live…” sticker – fill in the blank with your favorite beach or ocean animal.
We lobby Congress to put a fee on carbon emissions. Excess carbon emissions drive climate change and cause ocean acidification, warming and rising. Putting a price on carbon makes it more expensive to produce energy using fossil fuels, and makes renewable energy more competitive. We want to inspire people to take political action, join our chapter, lobby Congress, write letters to the editor and more.
HANDS-ON: Write a letter to your local congressperson.
Orca Awareness Month, started by long-time orca education and advocacy group Orca Network, was created to bring together researchers, advocates, and orca lovers everywhere to raise the awareness of the threats facing these magnificent animals and provide a community to celebrate orca of the Salish Sea. A large coalition of Orca Loving groups comes together to educate the public about the ongoing issues facing Orca’s and the work to be done.
HANDS-ON: An orca coloring book!
Our mission is to protect and preserve the waters of Puget Sound. We do beach cleanups, on-the-water patrols, Clean Water Act enforcement, water quality monitoring, outreach and education, and more! We hope to inspire people to give up plastic.
HANDS-ON: Looking at plastics through microscopes.
Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium practices and promotes effective conservation on behalf of the world’s wildlife. We introduce guests to the amazing animals that live in the world’s oceans through touch experiences, activities, and seeing the animals up close and personal and ask guests to join us in taking action to help protect the oceans. We want people to go straw-free to save the sea and eat sustainable seafood.
HANDS-ON: Put on a costume and take a shark or turtle selfie!
Among other things, the TPC Health Department works to prevent water pollution from businesses, monitors water quality in lakes, streams and Puget Sound, issues advisories when water quality conditions are unsafe and encourages homeowners to use less chemicals on their yard to prevent polluted runoff.
HANDS-ON: Stamping a bookmark with ocean pictures
The Audubon Society is all about education and engaging people to become better stewards of their environment. They do this through waterfront bird walks, talks about ocean health and its effects on bird and wildlife habitats in the marine environment. They’re one of the first lines of defense in restoration, preservation and stewardship of Pierce County watersheds which feed directly to Puget Sound and the ocean.
HANDS-ON: Do a watershed runoff activity.