Tide pool treasures
Counterclockwise from top: Low tide reveals a starfish at Second Beach in Olympic National Park. Anemones peek through sea grass at Shi Shi Beach. Families investigate different tide pools at Ruby Beach.
136 OLYMPIC PENINSULA VISITORS GUIDE • SUMMER 2018
As coastal waters retreat, pools of sea water — tide pools — expose a variety of marine life. Purple, red or yellow starfish, crabs, sea snails, sea urchins, brittle stars, hard-shelled limpets, wolf eels and anemones are just some of the treasures that can be found in area tide pools. Here are a few rules to follow when visiting tide pools: • While exploring, remember to watch always your step. To avoid killing or harming organisms in tide pools, try to walk on sand or bare rocks and do not attempt to jump from rock to rock. • Never try to pull or pry something out of a tide pool or off a rock. While some plants and wildlife in a tide pool can be gently touched keep in mind that these are living organisms. • Never remove anything from a beach or tide pool. Everything within these pools exist as part of a very delicate ecosystem. Instead, only take photographs. • Don’t leave behind anything that doesn’t belong on the beach including food, garbage and clothing. • Check the tide schedule before heading out to explore, and keep an eye on water levels. Many rocks near pools can become submerged as the tide comes in. Recommendations for great tide pooling experiences include Ruby Beach and Beach Four in the Kalaloch area; Second Beach, Third Beach and Hole-in-the-Wall in the La Push/ Mora area; Shi Shi Beach near Neah Bay; and Freshwater Bay and Salt Creek Recreation Area off Highway 112.