Meet Marta, the river otter, our newest advocate for river safety

Marta is a river otter who loves to play. It’s no surprise that she loves to swim and glide down slippery mud slopes on her belly into the water. She’s also on a mission to help King County residents learn the importance of river safety.

As Marta says, “Summertime is just around the corner, and my river is about to get a lot busier with humans everywhere. I want to help teach these humans to respect the river and STAY SAFE when they’re on or near the water.”

Marta dance
Marta likes to swim in rivers and dance.

Marta can’t actually speak, but her river guide friend Georgie is taking the otter around to schools in King County to teach first- and second- grade students about King County rivers. During her roadshow, Marta dances to a song she wrote, and shows students how to wear a lifejacket.

Here are Marta’s top tips about rivers:

  • Rivers are homes to lots of living things.
  • Rivers are places where people play.
  • Rivers can be dangerous if humans don’t take safety precautions.
  • Everyone can take basic steps to play safely in or around a river, including wearing a lifejacket.

While learning about rivers and water safety can be fun, it’s important to take drowning prevention seriously.

Download King County Parks’ summer Out of the Box to learn more river safety tips.

For more information visit

Marta will be at the Seattle Aquarium May 28th and 29th from 10:30 to 3:00. Did you know asthma impacts nine percent of adults, five percent of kids, and one sea otter in King County? Public Health and Marta the river otter are teaming up with the Mishka, the Seattle Aquarium’s sea otter with asthma, for Family Science Weekend! Come get a stuffed animal check-up and learn more about asthma at the Aquarium on May 28th and 29th from 10:30 to 3:00. Find us at the Marine Mammal Exhibit—Marta will be our otter surprise guest!

Chinook Elementary Ms. Jacobsen's Class 1
These students had so much fun learning about river safety with Marta.
Chinook Elementary Ms. Jacobsen's Class 5
Lifejackets are cool! They help save lives.
Marta worked very hard to learn her lines for the school presentations.


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