Shared Water
Land & Sea
people.html People
Exploring The Beach  
Where can you explore the beach?
Along Puget Sound, you can visit:
When You Visit the Beach

Remember, public shores belong to all of us. Littered and damaged beaches are less enjoyable for everyone. Follow these tips and take care of our beaches...

Pick up trash.
Glass, plastic, and other trash is hazardous to wildlife and people.

Take only pictures.
Leave marine life at the beach. A beach stripped of plants and animals can take decades to recover.

Check before you dig.
Before harvesting shellfish, contact your local county health department for safety information. For information on beach closures, check the Department of Health's Beach Closure web page. Be sure to get a shellfish license from the Department of Fish and Wildlife. Read the fish & shellfish rules online.

Fill in holes.
Open holes and large piles left by clam diggers can kill animals and expose them to predators. Large holes can also injure people; beach walkers can fall in. The Department of Fish and Wildlife requires you to fill in your holes.

Put rocks back.
If you lift a rock, gently put it back. Small animals cannot be left exposed.

Do not disturb.
Don't disturb marine mammals, birds, or other wildlife. Give them plenty of space. Remember, you are a visitor in their home.

Control pets.
Keep pets on a leash and away from wildlife. Use your scooper.

Don't trample plants.
Plants provide critical food and shelter for wildlife. Don't walk on eelgrass beds or seaweed. Avoid trampling forest or beach plants. Stay on park paths.

Don't trespass.
Many public access beaches are bordered by private property. Please stay within park boundaries.

Related Links

  • State & National Parks

    State Parks Locations and Reservations, Washington State Parks. A map of state parks by region and reservation information.

    Washington State Accessible Outdoor Recreation, Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission. List of accessible sites by region.


  • National Wildlife Refuges

    Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge. General information, trail map, and species list.

    Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge. Refuge information, map, birds, and wildlife.


  • Interpretive Centers and Exhibits

    Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, National Marine Sanctuary. Padilla Bay's Breazeale Interpretive Center overlooks Padilla Bay. The center offers trails, indoor exhibits, a reference library, and saltwater aquaria.

    Port Townsend Marine Science Center, Fort Worden State Park. Protection Island cruises, classes, events, and teacher training.

    Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium, Tacoma, WA. The centerpiece of the aquarium is a 160,000 gallon exhibit of creatures found in the Puget Sound.

    Seattle Aquarium, Seattle, WA. View Puget Sound in the Underwater Dome surrounded by 400,000 gallons of sea water.

    Admiralty Head Lighthouse, Island County/WSU Beach Watchers. The lighthouse offers spectacular views, displays on the history of Fort Casey, a small gift shop, and environmental education exhibits.

    The Whale Museum, Friday Harbor, San Juan Island. Educational programs, traveling exhibits, workshops, lectures, and permanent exhibits on whales and their environment.

  • County and City Parks

    Clallam County Parks. Clallam County parks and fairgrounds.

    Island County Parks. City, county, and private parks.

    Snohomish County Parks. County park directory.

    Pierce County Parks & Recreation. County parks.

    City of Gig Harbor. Parks and recreation.

    City of Bellingham. City parks and recreation.

    King County Parks. County parks and trails.

  • Other Access Information

    Washington State Ferries. The state ferry system makes the state's marine shoreline accessible to everyone. Schedules, routes, and fares.

    Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, US Army Corps of Engineers, Seattle District. A great place to watch returning salmon (sockeye, chinook, coho, and steelhead) migrate through the locks.

    Wildlife Areas and Access Points, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. A clickable map showing wildlife viewing areas and access along the Sound.

    Wetland Walks: A Guide to Washington's Public Access Wetlands, Department of Ecology. A reference for locating public-access wetlands/tidelands in the State of Washington.

    Watchable Wildlife, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Promoting understanding, appreciation, and conservation of wildlife and wildlife habitats. 

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