Fort Worden State Park

The Aquarium, Museum and Gift Shop at Fort Worden State Park are open Saturday and Sunday, 12 - 5 p.m.

Downtown Port Townsend

The Visitor Center and Store at 1001 Water St., downtown Port Townsend, are open Thursday, 11 a.m. - 3 p.m., and Friday - Sunday, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. 

Orca: Shared Waters, Shared Home, this interactive exhibit explores the natural history of the orca species and the extreme challenges facing the Southern Resident orca families that frequent Puget Sound. At the Flagship Gallery, Friday - Sunday, 12:00 - 3:00 p.m.

Whale on the Wharf, a complete 42' skeleton of a gray whale on permanent display at Union Wharf in downtown Port Townsend! Find out more here.

Click here for more information about visiting, and special exhibits.




Land Acknowledgement

We acknowledge that we work on the traditional lands and waters of many Coast Salish Peoples, particularly the S’Klallam People, the Strong People. We respect and are grateful for this land, these waters, and the people who have inhabited them since time immemorial and who continue to steward this place for future generations.


Sunday, October 8
3 p.m.
Fort Worden Chapel
To keep this series accessible to all, regardless of the ability to pay, there is no set charge for the event; however, donations are always welcomed and appreciated.

Assisted Listening Devices available.

"Bringing up baby stars: Captive breeding of the endangered sunflower star for research and restoration"
Presented by Dr. Jason Hodin
Univ. of Washington Senior Research Scientist
Friday Harbor Labs

In 2013, a devastating outbreak of a mysterious disease known as seastar wasting (SSW) began to spread in our region and along our entire coast, from Alaska to México. It impacted most if not all of our local seastar species to some degree, but sunflower stars (Pycnopodia helianthoides) were hit the worst. In California and southward they are all but gone, and their disappearance seems to have led to an ecosystem shift from healthy kelp forests to areas overpopulated by sea urchins and little else.

In 2019, in partnership with the Nature Conservancy of California, we began the first ever captive breeding program for this now-endangered species. In this talk, I will describe our successful efforts to raise this top predator in captivity through their entire life cycle, and some of the amazing things about this species that we have learned along the way.

Photo of Dr. Hodin by Dennis Wise/University of Washington.

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