About Us

Since our founding in 1994, more than 12,000 middle and high school students, 1,000 teachers and hundreds of schools have sailed the waters of Puget Sound as part of our innovative “science-under-sail” programs.

Salish’s growing success is a result of the commitment to a novel idea by an inspired group of staff, board members, volunteers, donors and others who believed in the creation of an unparalleled learning experience and the impact that it would have on thousands of lives.

Salish Sea Expeditions joined the Northwest Maritime Center family of programs in 2019. The Northwest Maritime Center is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization based in Port Townsend, WA, whose mission is to engage and educate people of all generations in traditional and contemporary maritime life, in a spirit of adventure and discovery.

Programs are organized at our headquarters in Port Townsend and occur throughout the Salish Sea between March and October; expeditions take place as far south as Tacoma and as far north as the San Juan Islands. During summer months, Carlyn returns to her home base on Orcas Island.

Following inquiry-based methodologies, students are given control and ownership of all aspects of their Salish learning experience, with the belief that students would develop a joy for learning and a new-found appreciation for science that they would carry back to their traditional classroom settings.

As our success grows, so do our plans to expand: to reach more students, especially those at lower income levels, to create more learning opportunities for all ages, and to integrate more fully into the regional science and environmental communities through novel partnerships and collaborations. If you’d like to be a part of our success, please see opportunities on our Ways to Help page.