Here in Southern California, we have awesome opportunities to enjoy the beauty of the Pacific Ocean. One of the most fun–and coolest–things to do is to visit the many tidepools up and down the coast. Here, you’ll find starfish (sea stars), abalone, mussels, sea anemones, sea hares, crabs of many types, sea urchins, and sea slugs collected in little ponds of water that collect in the low spots between rocks at low tide. Most people only see these creatures in aquariums…it’s so exciting the first time you see them in the wild.
Before you go, you might want to learn about tide pools. Check out one of these exhibits. Admission is free at both, with small recommended donations.
1. Ecosystems at the California Science Center http://www.californiasciencecenter.org/Exhibits/WorldOfEcology/WorldOfEcology.php
2. Cabrillo Marine Aquarium http://www.cabrillomarineaquarium.org/
-Go only near low tide. Otherwise, you won’t see much. You can find local times in weather forecasts and online.
-Do not remove animals from the tidepool. Even a shell could have a hermit crab or snail inside it! Sea hares will squirt you ink at you. Trust me, don’t even try.
-Do not poke animals. Use only two fingers, and stroke gently. Stay away from the center/mouths of anemones and starfish.
-WEAR SHOES! Otherwise, you can slip while crawling among rocks, or cut your foot.
Here are 5 great places to tidepool in Southern California:
1. Cabrillo Beach (San Pedro/Long Beach) http://www.yelp.com/biz/cabrillo-beach-san-pedro
2. Leo Carillo state beach (Malibu) http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=616
3. Abalone Cove (Palos Verdes) http://www.yelp.com/biz/abalone-cove-shoreline-park-rancho-palos-verdes
4. Crystal Cove (Orange County) http://www.yelp.com/biz/crystal-cove-state-park-laguna-beach-2
5. Founders Park/Trump National Golf Course (Palos Verdes) http://www.trumpnationallosangeles.com/default.aspx?p=DynamicModule&pageid=288542&ssid=167380