Pier Into the Night with Harbor WildWatch Feb. 6

Have you ever wondered what lurks beneath the surface of Gig Harbor bay? You can find out this Saturday at the next Harbor WildWatch “Pier Into the Night” event.
After enjoying all the exciting watercraft at the Seattle Boat Show during the day, come back to Gig Harbor and see what’s going on under the water that evening. The popular hands-on Pier Into the Night takes place from 6 to 8 p.m. on Feb. 6 at Maritime Pier in downtown Gig Harbor (Between Gig Harbor Marina & Boatyard and the Tides Tavern) (map). Held on the first Saturday of each month, Pier Into the Night combines touch tanks with a unique opportunity to see what lies beneath Puget Sound at night. 

Come ‘Pier Into the Night’ with Harbor WildWatch in Gig Harbor

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Tom Larson, a diver with Harbor WildWatch, gets ready to dive for sea creatures for touch tanks set up during the Farmers Market in Skansie Brothers Park last summer. The marine creatures are unharmed and placed back in the harbor after a short time in the touch tanks.

To enhance visitor enjoyment, the Live Dive Experience was added to the Pier Into the Night program in 2014. While visitors stay warm and dry on the dock, Harbor WildWatch’s certified SCUBA divers take a GoPro camera below the dock to film plumed worms, sea stars on the hunt, and beautiful nudibranchs prowling the barnacle-covered pilings.  A live video feed displays the colorful underwater world for everyone to see on the surface. Naturalists and trained volunteers identify the plants and animals and provide other information about the creatures.

Come ‘Pier Into the Night’ with Harbor WildWatch in Gig Harbor

Pier Into the Night invites adults and kids to observe marine activity that occurs in the Puget Sound from a night-time perspective.  Submersible lights are in place below the pier to illuminate underwater activity in Gig Harbor Bay. In the same way that porch lights attract insects, the underwater lights attract marine species that are seldom seen during the day, including ambushing squid, sparkling ctenophores, and wriggling sea worms.

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Feather Duster tube worms cling to dock pilings and sway with current and tide in Gig Harbor bay.

Pier Into the Night is free and open to all ages, though a donation of $1 per person or $5 per family is appreciated. The program focuses on introducing visitors to, and generating excitement about, the marine environment that makes up Puget Sound. Parents are encouraged to make sure their children are wearing a flotation device on the dock for safety.

Come ‘Pier Into the Night’ with Harbor WildWatch in Gig Harbor

If you’ve ever wondered what animals lurk beneath the surface of Puget Sound, be sure to visit one of Harbor WildWatch’s Pier Into the Night programs and you will get to see first-hand. Check the Harbor WildWatch calendar for dates and times. Contact Program Coordinator, Rachel Easton, at 253-514-0187 for more information.

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