Tide pools can be strange and wonderful places to explore. The ocean creatures that live there — like anemones, sea cucumbers, crabs, and barnacles — look very different from more well known ocean animals like dolphins and otters.
But these amazing marine animals (like those in the infograph below from our friends at the Seattle Aquarium) are well adapted with “super powers” to meet challenges. However, they are also fragile and can be sensitive to impacts that people can have on their colonies.
Ready to explore? Here are some tide pooling tips from Oregon State Parks:
- Watch your step.
- Observe, rather than capture.
- Touch gently.
- Don’t take it home—alive or dead!
- Take only pictures and leave wildlife and plants for others to enjoy.
Want to know the best places to see tide pools? The Seattle Aquarium has indoor tide pools fed with ocean water from the Puget Sound! And California and Oregon both host excellent tide pools for exploring. Check online sources for local sites.
If you don’t live on the coast, check out the Seattle Aquarium’s array of live cams and videos here. We like this one below featuring those awesome creatures themselves.
Learn more about fragile tide pool creatures and their survival in our children’s book, Catastrophe by the Sea in which a lost cat, named Catastrophe, befriends a colony of sea animals. Written by Brenda Peterson and illustrated by Ed Young, this stunning picture book, produced in partnership with the Seattle Aquarium, helps teach empathy for all living things.