get involved

Facilitate the change you want to see in Olympia's urban ecosystem. Restore urban ecosystems and improve community. Touch the ground and make a difference.

become part of olympia's legacy

Olympia straddles the Deschutes Estuary and Budd Inlet – one of the most potentially productive ecosystems for juvenile salmon left in Puget Sound. Though that ecosystem is in crisis, it remains a critical nursery for significant numbers of local and far-flung salmonids from the Puyallup and Green River Watersheds. Poor water quality, stormwater runoff, legacy environmental contamination, and nearshore habitat destruction all contribute to ecosystem decline. The changing climate, in particular sea-level rise, adds to this escalating series of problems. 

Despite these challenges, the restoration and re-wilding of the Olympia shoreline presents one of the greatest opportunities for reversing the South Puget Sound’s environmental decline. As the capital city in the State of Washington, Olympia can showcase creative adaptations to sea-level rise.

Join us to become part of the solution.

OlyEcosystems’ work to preserve, protect, and restore urban ecosystems relies on a great number of dedicated volunteers. There are several opportunities to become involved with OlyEcosystems. In addition to scheduled work parties and other events, there are a number of ways to offer your expertise and improve our local ecosystems:

Learn more about the exciting work of the Board and consider joining us today. 

From web design to conservation strategizing, our committees offer many opportunities to volunteer in support of our mission.

Stormwater Treatment

A small fraction of Olympia’s stormwater is treated at the LOTT water treatment plant. Most of the stormwater empties either directly into Puget Sound or drains into the upland shoreline forests. Untreated stormwater contributes to poor water quality, and has been shown to be lethal to the adult and juvenile Coho salmon found in Olympia’s waters. Help us to design and construct rain gardens and larger retention ponds, and restore the creeks in urban watersheds to improve stormwater filtration. Ecosystem benefits include filtering runoff to reduce pollution, recharging local groundwater, improving water quality, protecting Puget Sound, increasing beneficial insects that eliminate insects pests, and creating habitat for fish, birds, and butterflies. Join us.


OlyEcosystems leverages science and information technology to support conservation and habitat restoration decisions in the community. Field research, citizen science, data analytics, and geospatial information systems (GIS) are an integral part of our advocacy. Together, we can replace a resource economy with a restoration economy. Science provides data to focus our efforts. If you are a scientist or engineer, then we need your help. Join us.

Forest Restoration

Healthy forests are critical to the health and vitality of the Deschutes River-Budd Inlet ecosystem. They provide food and shelter to wildlife, prevent damaging erosion, and improve water quality to benefit surrounding life. Years of neglect, development, and mismanagement resulted in nearshore urban forests filled with invasive weeds and decreased wildlife habitat. We are currently restoring the West Bay Woods by removing invasive species and replanting the understory with native shrubs, ground cover, and trees. If you have experience in forest ecology, then we need your help. Join us.


Conservation intersects with policy and law. We advocate for ecosystems preservation at the municipal, state, and federal levels. Urban conservation is politically demanding. However, guided by science, we provide leadership and demonstrate the impact of conservation to the community. Join us.