Tide Pools

Redwood National Park, CA: Spending time outside can bring out the inner child in all of us; exploration, discovery, curiosity, and wonder are part of any outdoor experience, an area where the excitement of finding and observing something spectacular in nature is a tide pool. Adults and kids can spend hours (depending on the tides) searching through the rocks and seeing what creatures inhabit this zone. Tide pools consist of a sponges, sea stars, sea anemones, tubeworms, snails, crabs, and so much more. Due to the popularity of some beaches and the accessibility of tide pools (depending on tides), exploring tide pools is best done with care and certain considerations should be taken. (National Geographic)

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Please use the following list of recommendations on your next trip to a tide pool.

1.     Walk on rocks to avoid crushing anything or damaging any plants. Be careful when walking on the rocks in a tide pool because they can be slippery and jagged.

2.     Know the rules and regulations of the area you are visiting. Check to see if seashell collection is allowed. Research the rules and specific considerations about handling or touching anything living in a tide pool.

3.     If handling or touching is allowed, be very gentle when touching anything living in a tide pool. If it does not come off the rocks easily, don’t remove it because it could die after being pried from a rock. If anything flees let it go. (Monterey Bay Aquarium)

4.     When touching anything in a tide pool, wet your hands first so that your skin does not damage their delicate surfaces. (NOAA.gov)

5.     If you lift up a rock to look underneath it, place it back in the same way that you found it so you don’t kill any animals living under it.

6.     Anything that you pickup to observe should be place back exactly where you found it. Rather than picking it up, just observe it from a distance.

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Using these techniques when you are visiting a fragile and beautiful tide pool can help reduce your impact on it. If we all do our part to minimize our impact on tide pools, we preserve their integrity and allow for future visitors and future generations to enjoy.  

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Thanks for reading and remember to be like the Center’s mascot Bigfoot and Leave No Trace.

Pat and TJ

Leave No Trace’s Patrick and Theresa Beezley are part of the 2015 Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainer Program that provides free, mobile education to communities across the country. Proud partners of this program include Subaru of America, Deuter, Hi-Cone, REI, Smartwool, The North Face, and Yakima.

References:

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2011/06/tide-pools/white-text/2

http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/-/m/pdf/education/activities/aquarium-tide-pool-etiquette.pdf?la=en

http://olympiccoast.noaa.gov/living/habitats/intertidal/ettiquette.html