The Oregon Coast has some excellent areas for tide pooling, which amazes and attracts visitors of all ages. Tide pooling is going out to rocky shores at low tides to touch and observe critters that live there.
During low tide, organisms that live in zones between the high and low tide are exposed from the water. They can be seen stuck to rocks or swimming and crawling in small tide pools of water. Some cannot withstand being exposed to air for very long.
As tides go out, more delicate organisms will be visible. Therefore, it is important to track low tides and times before planning a tide pooling trip.
There are many resources for identifying wildlife in tide pools and along the beaches, such as ID guides found in bookstores or that can be printed online. In addition, some Oregon State Parks offer interpretive walks and other programs open to the public.
There are also opportunities to hire guides for tide pooling, such as Wavecrest Discoveries. By going tide pooling with a guide, you get much more out of the experience than just being able to identify different species. You also learn more about the area, hear additional stories about the organisms, and gain more information that you could never learn independently.
Giant Green Anemones and Sea Stars are reveled at lower tides. Photo by Susan Dimock
When tide pooling, it is important to wear proper footwear, as many of the rocks are went and covered with algae and can be very slippery. The marine layer can also lead to variable weather, so wearing multiple layers will provide the most comfort.
Rocks covered in kelp provide habitats for many species that are fun to look at. Photo by Justin Myers
For more information about tide pooling on the Oregon Coast, visit http://oregontidepools.org/.