Beach Heroes

Beach Heroes is a two-part program designed to introduce students to the local Puget Sound beach habitat and the organisms that live there. Both components will have both in-person and virtual options, with in-person being recommended. 

Designed for Grades K-3.

Season: April – June

Two components: Introductory Lesson & Field Lesson

  • In the NGSS-correlated 1-hour Introductory Lesson, students will be introduced to marine invertebrates they are likely to see on Puget Sound beaches, while learning about beach etiquette and stewardship. Our fully vaccinated naturalists visit schools, and each participating class receives their own 1-hour lesson. Students will have the opportunity to work on student Field Guides they can use during the 2-hour field study and beyond. This lesson can also be taught virtually.
  • The 2-hour Field Lesson is a trip to Seahurst Beach during a low tide. Naturalists guide groups in student-centered exploration of the beach habitat and interaction with intertidal organisms. Students learn about these incredible creatures, as well as about the ecological importance of the nearshore habitat and marine stewardship. This lesson can also be a virtual field trip, with naturalists live streaming from the beach and students connecting virtually.

Recorded lessons and Synchronous Virtual Class Options

Both aspects of the program are available as pre-recorded videos which can be used in whatever way works best for teachers and students. We can also schedule live synchronous classes if desired for one or both program components. The student Field Guide is available as a printed booklet, as well as in a variety of digital formats.

All portions of this program are correlated with Next Generation Science Standards.

Advanced Beach Heroes Option

Designed for 2nd and 3rd graders, this three-part version of the program offers students the opportunity to get involved in community science activities on the beach during their Field Lesson, and to further build on their relationship to the beach. The goal is to offer students different ways to connect with and learn about the beach habitat, including through doing field illustrations and assisting naturalists in conducting biological surveys. This option will include an additional 1-hour classroom component, in between the Introductory and Field Lessons, in which a naturalist comes back to the school in order to practice field illustration and data collection with the students.

This could be a good option if you know that many of your students have previously participated in the Beach Heroes program in younger grades. Please contact our Program Coordinator, Rosie (, if you are interested in hearing more about this opportunity!


Introductory Lessons will be conducted at each participating school. Field Lessons take place at Seahurst Beach in Burien, WA. Both components can be taught virtually as well, if schools do not allow outside visitors, if a field trip cannot be arranged, or if classes are being taught remotely.


Beach Heroes is generously funded through local and state grants such as the Outdoor Learning Grant (an OSPI program administered by the WA Recreation and Conservation Office), King County Flood Control District’s WRIA 9 CWM program, Port of Seattle’s South King County Environmental Fund, King Conservation District, RCO’s No Child Left Inside program, the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, and the Snoqualmie Tribe. Thanks to these funders, we are able to offer the Beach Heroes program at no cost to students and teachers at schools where more than 45% of families qualify for free or reduced-price meals. For qualifying schools, we can offer partial reimbursement for the cost of buses. For schools where less than 45% of families qualify for free or reduced-price meals, the cost is $50 per class for the program.


ESC has two all-terrain GRIT Freedom wheelchairs that can be borrowed by participants during programs. We have one youth-sized chair and one adult chair. In the Beach Heroes registration form you can indicate whether you will need access to one or both chairs during your program. If your group has other accessibility needs, there is space to describe them in the registration form, and you can always email with questions (


Registration for Beach Heroes will open up in January 2024. If you are interested in accessing our library of pre-recorded lesson videos, or have any questions or issues with the scheduling process, please contact Rosie ( We schedule by grade cohort. Please coordinate with the other teachers of your grade at your school, and sign up as a group. One teacher should sign up all the classes in their grade at their school. If this does not work for your grade cohort, please contact Rosie to discuss alternatives.

To honor students’ commitment to environmental stewardship, they received an Official Beach Hero identification card (included in their student Field Journal). 

Past Beach Heroes can be found here!


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