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The Port Townsend Marine Science Center, a 501 (c) (3), is an educational and scientific non-profit organization devoted to understanding and conserving our marine and shoreline environment. It was founded in 1982 by two teachers and was initially run entirely by volunteers. Over the years it has continued to grow in a steady, thoughtful manner. Today, as many as 200 volunteers every year help in engaging people of all ages in understanding and protecting the marine environment.
The Port Townsend Marine Science Center maintains an Aquarium, which includes touch tanks and aquariums, and a Museum, featuring a fully-articulated orca skeleton. The Aquarium is open to school groups, youth groups and the general public in the spring, summer & fall. In the winter, the Aquarium is closed to the public except by special arrangement. However, the Museum remains open year round to the public and groups.
Our hope is to manifest our mission statement of inspiring the conservation of the Salish Sea through visitor experience, lifelong education, and research. The exhibits feature local marine and shoreline habitat, history, flora, and fauna. This allows for our volunteers and staff members help to guide visitors towards an experience that teaches them about the immediate natural environment surrounding us, the Salish Sea. PTMSC also offers education programs for youths and adults, and is host to other events such as workshops, beach walks, nature cruises, and field trips. Lastly, through trained citizen science volunteers we are able to carry out a variety of research projects in partnerships with scientists and research institutions like NOAA and WDFW.